Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 30th - So Glad to Have the Grandkids Back Home!

I got myself up and going pretty early this morning.  Actually, I just woke up and didn't feel like sleeping anymore.  It meant that I was able to take off early to run to Target and to the grocery store.  Both places were quiet with no crowds, so that was great.  I got what we need for New Year's, so now I can be lazy the rest of the week!  I love it!

I had only been home a few minutes when Lisa called and wondered if they could come over.  She wanted to do some grocery shopping, too, and the kids wanted to come to Grandma's house.  Needless to say that I was thrilled to have them come over!

We talked for a while, getting caught up on the last three weeks, then she went off to the grocery store.  Just before she left, Bill got home.  He had just a quick repair, so it was a short day for him.  Ashby and Brooks were so excited that Grandpa was here, too.  They kept him playing with them for the next couple of hours.  Grandma doesn't get down on the floor so much, so it is more fun to play with Legos with Grandpa.  On the other hand, Grandma is better for cuddling with.  And I totally loved all the cuddles!

It turned out to be a great day.  We had really missed seeing them so we loved having them back.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 29th - New Car, Temporarily!

This morning we had to take the car to the body shop to repair the damage done when that lady backed into the side of my car in the parking lot.  It happened back in November, but they had scheduled the repair to begin today.  They think it will take a couple of weeks.  Fortunately, they also provide a rental car.  I was afraid we would get some little sub-compact, but they gave us a full-size VW Passat.  It is brand new and very nice.  I guess since our car is a full-sized model, they had to provide a similar car.  So, for a couple of weeks, I will be driving a new car. 

After getting the car stuff settled, I headed back home and spent the rest of the day there.  I kept pretty busy all day, too.  Among other tasks, I got the gifts for the grandchildren wrapped, worked on my Power Point presentation (huge learning curve for me on that one!), worked on my stake class for January, plus a bunch of other little things.

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 28th - Yeah, they are back home!

This started out pretty much like every other Sunday morning, except that it is the last one of the year and next week we go back to 9:00 church.  That means we will have to get up and go, but we both still prefer morning. 

Bill had not planned to go to church today, as he was heading to the airport to pick up Lisa and family.  However, their plane was delayed leaving by a couple of hours, so he was able to go with me.  I had my class, so had not planned to go with him.  As it turned out, we left after my class, had just enough time to stop at home and change clothes and then get to the airport.

We were so excited to see everyone, especially Ashby and Brooks.  They were both so excited, as well.  I think Ashby chattered almost non-stop all the way from the airport to their house.  They were particularly excited when we turned the corner onto their street.  They had a wonderful time in Colorado with all the cousins and aunts and uncles, but they also loved getting home and seeing all their own toys and their own beds again.

We will get together on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I think.  We will do our Christmas presents on one of those days.  It is just nice to have them back home!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 27th - Saturday........

I think I am already back in my usual rut - that is not a complaint, but it sure does make it hard to write a daily blog!

I did a few things, like a load of laundry, some dusting, straightening, etc., but not all that much.  Mostly I just ----  wait for the drumroll! ---- worked on family history.  Big surprise there!  I continued what I had started yesterday, but still didn't get it done.  I also spent quite a while working on my lesson for tomorrow.  I needed to make sure I had everything in place to teach them more about sources.  Turned out it is a good thing I took the time.  Now my lesson will be productive and not use up unnecessary time because I have it all figured out!

Bill helped with a youth service project this morning, which ended up taking less than two hours.  The rest of the day he was as lazy as I was!  He did get the van all set up to go to the airport tomorrow to pick up Lisa and family.  We are excited to have them back tomorrow!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 26th - Just Another Friday!

With all the Christmas relaxing yesterday, I didn't do any laundry, which is usually a Thursday activity.  So, I had to tackle that chore today - 4 loads!  But, besides the laundry, I pretty much buried myself in family history. 

Bill had a quick job this morning and then met up with his nephew to spend the afternoon playing golf.  That left me at home alone - which was fine with me.  I spent the day getting my notes updated on the family that I have been working on.  It is the same family that I got the email about and I didn't want to send the family group sheet until I was sure all the notes were complete.  It turned out that I have been a little lax, so it is taking a little longer than I had expected.  It is good, though, to get everything updated.  I had added notes, but they were not complete and no one but I would have known what it meant.  I will finish up the last little bit tomorrow and then send the copies on.

By evening, my eyes had quit being able to see much on my computer screen - I think I overdid it!  So, when Bill got home from golf, I was cuddled in the big chair watching Blue Bloods.  What a great day we both had!

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 25th - Merry Christmas!

We had a totally quiet and relaxed Christmas Day.  We slept in - Bill more than me, of course.  I was working on some family history (got an email from someone interested in sharing information on the Cantrell family I have been working on).

Then about noon, we headed out to the movie to see "Unbroken."  Our timing was perfect, as we got there before it got too busy and had a good seat, but it ended up being a sell-out.  We both enjoyed the movie a lot.  Obviously much of what was in the book had to be left out in the movie, but they actually did quite a good job of capturing the story.  It did end with him returning home and then just used summary text to tell the rest of the story about his post traumatic stress and then turning his life around.  Anyway, we enjoyed it.

Back home, we were lazy some more.  I was immersed in the family history and Bill was watching something on TV.  I think it was The Christmas Story which was running over and over for like 24 hours!  Eventually, we were ready for dinner and had talked about going out, but we both preferred to just stay home.  We found some minute steaks and fried those up with potatoes and onions and some frozen corn.  It is one of Bill's favorite meals, so he was thrilled.  I like it, too, so we were both satisfied.

So, we enjoyed our quiet Christmas, while missing the kids.  We are looking forward to our late Christmas with them next week. 

Most important is remembering the birth of the Savior and what that means for us.  I am grateful for all these blessings.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 24th - Christmas Eve

We spent the day getting ready for Christmas Eve with the family.  Bill went out and did the grocery shopping.  Then while he ran a few more errands, I got the Tex-Mex dip made.  I got my gifts wrapped.  Then I had to help Bill get his wrapped.  He makes it so hard - who can figure. The rest of the day, we just relaxed. 

Then we headed over to Greg's house for the family Christmas Eve celebration.  It was a little smaller group this year, just Joyce, Leroy and their kids and grandkids.  Hazel and John are on a cruise with Joy.  Martha is in Florida.  Lisa and family are in Colorado.  But, we had a great time anyway!

The home-made tacos were good, as well as all the sides to go with them.  Desserts were fabulous.  I really enjoyed spending some time with Taylor and hearing about his trip to India.  He was there for seven weeks, taking classes and touring the country.  He had some interesting experiences to share!  I also had a little time to catch up with Chris and what he is doing.  I didn't realize he was working in the bakery at Kroger and writing the names on birthday cakes.  Fun.

Between dinner and dessert, we opened the gifts for each other.  Julie had my name and gave me a leather purse.  It is very nice and a good size.  I think I will get plenty of use out of it.  I had Alonzo's name and bought him Elder Holland's new book.  I am hoping he will enjoy it.

Eventually, we all headed to the basement to do the gag gifts.  As usual, we had plenty to laugh about there!  Let's see, I ended up with a gadget to clean wax out of your ears.  If it works, I think I will actually use it!  Ha!

Then we got started on family stories and just about laughed ourselves silly.  One of the best things with family is when the old stories come out.  They seem to get better every time they are retold!

It was a wonderful Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 23rd - Another Rainy Day!

It rained all day again today - how dreary is that?  We even had a pretty good thunderstorm in the evening.  And I did curl up in the chair for a little while, but not as much as yesterday.  In fact, I got totally absorbed in some family history stuff and the day simply disappeared!

I also had a member contact me wanting some help, so that took a bit of my time, as well.  I do love helping people, so it brightened my day.

When Bill got home, we decided to go out for dinner, so we headed to our favorite Mexican place.  It was early, so we didn't have to wait and the food was really good.  (I hate having to wait when we go out - one of the reasons I don't like eating out, actually!)

I also dug all the gifts out of the closet to make an evaluation of where I stand.  All I really need right now is my gift for the family exchange and the gag gift.  I have both, so I won't worry too much about the rest until next week.  Even so, it is looking pretty good, at least for the grandchildren.  I think we need one more thing for Brooks.  But, I haven't gotten Bill anything.  Nor, do we have gifts for Lisa, David, or Billy.  I think they may end up getting cash or gift cards since we just can't come up with anything!  Hopefully, we can buy some things on sale next week, since we will be doing Christmas with them on New Years.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 22nd - Rainy Monday - Me, Too!

Today has been a dark and rainy day all day long and I have let my mood match.  I did a few things, like change the sheets, etc., but I didn't do all that much.  I had a long list of things to be done, but most got moved to tomorrow!

By afternoon, I had such a bad sinus headache that I just curled up in the big chair and rested and watched some TV.  I am into Blue Blood right now - a police drama set in New York and starring Tom Selleck.  It isn't quite Law and Order, but I am enjoying it.

I seem to be a lazy rut.  I guess I should get myself out of it, but it feels kind of nice being lazy for a while.  If the headache goes away, maybe I will get a little more done tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 21st - A Wonderful, but Rather Quiet, Sunday

We will be changing to morning schedule for church in January, so we are down to the last couple of Sundays to have a relaxed morning.  We took advantage of it today.  (Actually, we prefer the morning schedule, so we are looking forward to the change.)

The choir presented the program in Sacrament Meeting, along with a nice narrative, some special musical numbers, and a great talk by the bishop.  All very well done.  My class went great.  We are working on finding sources now and they got into the death certificate and gravestone that we worked on today. 

Back at home, we fixed a quick stir fry for dinner and then relaxed the rest of the day.  It has been a very nice sabbath, although we do miss the kids being here.  They are having a great time in Colorado, though, so we are happy about that.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 20th - Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

This started as a typical Saturday morning - a little laundry, etc. 

This afternoon, we went with two other couples to the Aurora Theater to see their Christmas Canteen, a holiday music show.  It was delightful and it really helped get us more into the holiday spirit.  After the play, we walked across the street to Cosmos Pizza and had some dinner.  It is fun being in downtown Lawrenceville in the late afternoon. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 19th - Another Rather Quiet Day

I love being home and doing whatever strikes me at the moment, so I enjoyed the day today.  It was pretty much the same as yesterday and I loved it. 

I did make a run to the library to return some things that were due yesterday.  They had all been renewed as many times as allowed and one I still had a bit to finish, so I took it in to renew.  Since all three things were a day late, I mentioned that I knew I would owe a fine, but it turns out that a senior card gives you a few extra days without any fines.  My comment was that it was certainly nice that the library understood that old people just forget a lot!  Brought a smile to everyone's face.

When I got back home, Bill was there.  It seems he just has a repair job today and it is just down the street, so while the gelcoat was setting up, he came back home.  Nice surprise to have him home at lunch time.  Then he had to go back and finish up the job.

I mostly worked on my family history and I think I have the chart all finished and filled in properly.  It will be the second case study in my presentation.  I have a few more things to finish it up, but getting this done is a big step.

I actually cooked a little dinner this evening - big surprise!  I felt like eating a little more than usual, so that was all it took.  It wasn't much, but at least we had food.  I usually eat lunch and then very little at dinnertime. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 18th - Quiet Thursday

I spent today mostly recovering from being so tired yesterday!  Well, I did do a bunch of laundry and a few other house things.  I also worked on my family history some more.  I just didn't feel like doing much of anything else, so I didn't! 

Hmmm,  that sounds like a pretty lazy day.  Funny, it didn't seem lazy, but I guess it was! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 17th - Genealogy Study Group

Today was mostly taken up with the Genealogy Study Group.  I was at the church early to get some things set up.  It was primarily a social today, so we had snacks and plenty of time to just visit and get better acquainted with each other.  We also had everyone do a survey to get some feedback on the direction that they want the group to go for the next year.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and I heard some comments about what a fun morning it was. 

We then had our steering committee meeting, which took a little while since we did not have a program planned for January yet.  We got the next three or four months outlined, so we felt like we had accomplished a lot.

One of the workers for the afternoon at the Family History Center was not there, and there was a patron, so I stayed with her, so she would not be alone.  It was one of the members of the Study Group who wanted to take advantage of the center being open after the meeting.  I helped him with some Fold3 stuff.  I love helping patrons.  It did make for a long day, though!

When I finally got home, I had some light lunch (I had eaten plenty of snacks earlier!)  I worked a little more on my presentation.  Then, since I was so tired again, I decided to watch some episodes of Broadchurch.  I ended up watching the last 3 episodes so the murder mystery was solved!

December 16th - Quiet Tuesday

Well, it was mostly quiet.  I did as little as possible at home, although I did have to run out to the grocery store to pick up some brownies and a few other things for tomorrow's meeting.  The rest of the day, I worked on family history - still trying to get my exhibits done for my presentation.

I must admit that I gave up and took a short nap, too.  Some days I am just so tired!  Naps are good, though. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 15th - Monday, Not Much Going On

Since the kids were not here yesterday, there wasn't much straightening to do.  That meant I was able to pretty much spend my day at the computer.  I worked on my presentation on timelines and got quite a bit more worked out.  Of course, I ran into a snag.  I guess that is OK since that is the point of teaching them to do timelines, but it does slow me down!

That was pretty much all I did all day long.  Well, other than when I got tired and relaxed and watch a show or two on the TV.  I did not take a nap, though. 

Bill went in this morning and got the stitches taken out and then went on to a job.  He didn't get home until kind of late because of it.  The healing looks good.  I don't there will be much of scar on either site once the healing is complete.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 14th - A Great Stake Conference

We had stake conference this morning and it was a good one.  They are always good, but sometimes there is just a special spirit that is stronger and that was the case today.  Excellent talks.  We really enjoyed hearing the new mission president and his wife speak for the first time.  To tell the truth - they were all good!

Once we got home, we threw together a quick stir-fry for dinner and then spent the rest of the day relaxing.  In fact, I took a long Sunday afternoon nap.  It felt so good!  We really missed the kids, though, but they are having fun in Colorado.

Our home teachers came by this evening and we enjoyed our visit with them, as well.  It has been a great Sunday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 13th - Made It Through My Talk!

Saturday today, so that meant doing some laundry, changing the sheets, and as few other things as I could get by with.  I worked on my presentation and made more progress.  I read through my talk for this evening a time or two to make sure it was finished.

When Bill got back from a job he had scheduled for this morning, we headed out to Steak and Shake for lunch.  Then back home to finish up the chores and take a nap.  What a stressful day!

This evening was the adult session of stake conference and I had to do my talk.  It went well, I think.  I talked about hastening the work and how that applies to family history.  The Saturday sessions are always good.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 12th - What a Boring Day - But I Enjoyed It!

I had another stay-at-home day and enjoyed every minute of it - doing nothing of great value, but accomplishing lots of stuff.

Besides the expected routine, I worked intensely on my Timeline presentation and got a lot done.  I got an outline completed of what will be in the presentation and a rough pencil draft of what I will do on the Power Point.  I still have some things to do to get the exhibits ready, but I am making progress.  The challenge, which I keep putting off, is learning to use Power Point properly, so the pictures will look as great as I have imagined them!  I sometimes tend to think a little too big.  We will see what happens. 

I didn't even touch the other presentation.  I was disappointed that a book I had ordered from Amazon had not come and they can't find it, so they refunded my money.  That was good customer service, but I really wanted the book!  I guess I will have to reorder it.  I wanted some of that information for my presentation.  Sure is a good thing I have until May to get it finished!  I am glad I started early.

I also finalized my talk for conference Saturday night.  It was pretty much done, but I tweaked it just a bit and I am finished now - no more tweaks!  I had to send a copy to one of the members of the high council so they could prepare the Spanish translation. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 11th - Happy 87th Birthday, Dad!

I talked to Dad on the phone today to wish him happy birthday and to check up on him.  He sounded good.  He was on his way to Red Lobster to have a lobster lunch with Tammy.  Glad someone is helping him celebrate!

The rest of the day I was at home.  I did four loads of laundry.  In between, I worked on my timeline presentation.  I am using two case studies and I have a lot of work to get the case studies just how I want them.  I did make a good bit of progress, though.  I think it is going to work out really well.  At least, I hope so!

Bill went out with the missionaries this evening, and I was tired from being at the computer all day long, so I just sat and watched a couple of episodes of Blue Blood while eating some popcorn.  Best way to relax at the end of a day!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 10th - Family History Day

The week is mostly back to normal today - finally!  I spent the morning at the Family History Center.  Unfortunately, we didn't have any patrons, but we enjoyed ourselves, nonetheless.  I worked on the family that I am using for my Sunday class on sources.  I will use one of the brothers for my class for the consultants in January.  They had chosen to have the class on sources, so it should be pretty easy.

The rest of the day was pretty much routine:  a few things around the house and then at the computer.

Bill only worked for a while.  He had not scheduled any actual work - just estimates, etc.  The doctor warned him about the dust, so he is not taking any chances on the sutures in the nose getting any infection.  He did go home teaching this evening, while I rested in the big chair!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 9th - Bill Doing Great

Bill is doing great with his nose and neck procedures.  He took pain pills to sleep, but hasn't had any pain today.  He even made a list of errands and was gone for a couple of hours doing them.  This afternoon, he was able to remove the bandages, clean the sutures, and then leave them uncovered to heal.  He is a little distraught over the nose, but actually she did a great job with the stitches.  Once they are removed and it finishes healing, I doubt there will be much of a scar, if at all.

I did a few things around the house, as usual, but not any more than I thought I had to do!  I spent the rest of my day mostly at the computer.  I worked on my talk a bit.  I spent quite a bit of time working on one of my presentations.  Plus, just the ordinary things I am always doing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 7th - Remember Pearl Harbor!

Oops - forgot to post.

Today was another great Sunday.  Testimony meeting was especially good today.  My class went well.  They are loving getting into actual documents and seeing what can be learned.  It is new to some of them and they got so excited.

Back home, the kids came over for dinner.  We just had an old Iowa farm dinner - fried pork chops, boiled potatoes, and corn.  It must have been good, because everyone ate really well - even the little ones.  We so enjoy our relaxing time with them.  The children are so entertaining and it is nice to have grown-up talk, too.

December 8th - Day at the Dermatologist's Office

Today Bill had the two spots removed - one from his nose and one from his neck.  They were diagnosed a few months ago and we finally got in to get the surgery done.  All went well, although it took a good hunk of the day.  The one on his nose required a second cut to get it all, so that added a couple of hours to the day.  But, now both are clean and he is bandaged and feeling good.  He did get some pain meds, as there will probably be some pain with the nose one.  I went with him, so we both spent the day there.

On our way home, we stopped and had a big lunch/dinner.  It was after 2:30 and we were both very hungry!  We also stopped and dropped off the prescriptions, which I went back later to pick up.

A friend of ours who is a plumber, stopped by to fix something for us.  Josh had stayed with us for several months a few years ago, so it was fun to have a chance to sit and chat and get all caught up.

And that was pretty much our day!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 6th - Art Show and Piano Recital

We started the day with having to deal with plumbing issues.  Last night, the toilets both started gurgling and wouldn't flush properly.  We called a plumber and made arrangements for them to come this morning to check out the problem.  It appeared to be in the main line and that is what he found.  It seems the main line in our front yard has had roots get into it.  It will have to be dug up and replaced.  Fortunately, he was able to clear it enough that we will be OK for a short while.  It always seems to be one thing after another!

I did manage to get a couple of loads of laundry done once the plumber finished.  Other than that, I worked on family history most of the day.  I had to finish my prep for my Sunday lesson.  We will be doing research and I wanted to make sure everything was ready with the person I will be using as my example.  It turned out that I needed to do a bit of updating on the RootsMagic file, so that took a while.

Mid-afternoon, we headed over to Lisa's church to set up the art show.  We had a display of all the art that Ashby and Abby have done this semester.  Lisa's piano and voice students had their recital, so we were able to set it up at the back of the chapel.  Ashby was very proud!  The recital was fun, too.  Her students are making great progress.  It was all Christmas music, so that added to the holiday feeling.

On the way home, we stopped and ordered a pizza, then did a bit of grocery shopping.  We managed to get most of our chores done that we had planned. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

December 5th - Another Stay at Home Day

Today was pretty much a rerun of yesterday, I guess.  I didn't get out - didn't want to, actually.  I had a couple of errands I should have run, but.........

I did a little dusting, some more laundry, etc., around the house.  I also worked on the computer quite a bit.  I finished up the stuff on the family history for my friend in Utah and got that ready to mail to her.  I worked on my talk a little more.  I worked on my presentation a little.  Just more of that kind of stuff. 

However, I got so tired by mid-afternoon that I finally gave up and took the first nap of the week.  It wasn't a very long one, but it sure felt good!

Bill was late again this evening.  He has been overworking this week, I think.  Wish I could get him to slow down. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 4th - At Home Day

So, I needed to recover from being so busy yesterday (yes, that's my excuse for being lazy!) so I stayed home.  I did accomplish a few things, though.  I did several loads of laundry, sent some invoices for Bill, talked to the insurance company about repairing the car, got a first draft done on my talk, worked on one of my presentations.  Plus, there were a few other things. 

I must admit, though, that I also was tired, so I took some time to relax in the big chair with the TV on.  What can I say?  I like being lazy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 3rd - Busy Day!

I was able to work at the Family History Center this morning, as usual.  It was great to have some patrons.  I helped an interesting man and woman.  They had written a book about the man's great uncle who lived to over 100 years of age.  They are now in the process of writing a book about another story from the family - a murder!  They were at the center to look up newspapers and other sources to get more details.  It was certainly a little different - but quite fun, especially when they found some newspaper articles that gave them some details that they were not aware of yet.

From there, I headed back home.  After getting some lunch and resting for a few minutes, I went up to the art room to tackle the art show projects.  I needed to get the pictures mounted in some way.  I had also made labels, but they needed to be mounted, as well.  It took me a couple of hours, but they all look good.  The art show will be Saturday during Lisa's piano recital.  I think the girls will be excited!  I could use a few more easels, though, so I will need to check with Lisa to see if she has any.  Otherwise, since I don't want to buy anymore, I will just lay some of the pictures flat on the table.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 2nd - Joy School Dinosaur Party!

I headed over to Lisa's this morning to help out with Joy School.  They are studying dinosaurs this week and today was Brooks' birthday celebration.  It turned out that I didn't need to do much, although I took a few pictures.  There were seven pre-schoolers and they all loved the dinosaurs.  It was a fun and exciting morning.  Lisa had fixed a cake in the shape of a dinosaur, so that was the perfect highlight to a fun birthday for Brooks.

Once I got home, had some lunch and relaxed a few minutes, I was mostly involved in all of my usual stuff.  I worked some more on my talk and I think I have it pretty much figured out.  I just need to write it out now, to make sure I am in the 10 minute limit!

I had a friend come by and borrow my fondue set.  She is having a party on Saturday and wants to dip some chocolate.  Sounds fun.  It is about time we did fondue again!

Bill had to go to the youth activity this evening.  They went roller skating.  Fortunately, Bill chose to just watch and not to try to skate.  They had a good turnout and the youth had a great time, according to Bill.  I, on the other hand, watched a little TV while I had some popcorn and spent a little more time at the computer, before snuggling up with my book. 

I lead such a boring life - but today, with all those dinosaurs, it was definitely NOT boring!  Love that boy and he is so excited to be four years old!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1st - Happy Birthday, Brooks!!

The birthday boy is four years old today.  He has been so excited about his birthday.  I think this is the first year that he has some real understanding about birthdays.  He is so proud to be 4!  We went over this evening to have home made pizza and birthday cake to celebrate his birthday.  What a fun evening!

The rest of the day was pretty much mundane Monday.  I had a good bit of house straightening to do after the decorating party last night.  I got most of that put in order.  I stripped and washed the sheets.  I worked on the talk that I have to give for stake conference.  And several of the other ordinary Monday tasks.

But, ending with a birthday party certainly turned a mundane day into a happy and exciting day!

Monday, December 1, 2014

November 30th - Decorating Chaos!

We had our regular Sunday schedule - last minute preparing for lessons, a little family history, etc.  Church meetings were good.  My class went well.  We are starting on researching sources online, which will be our last segment.  It will take us 3 or 4 weeks to get through it all, though.

When we got home, I got dinner going.  Lisa and family got here shortly after we got home.  Bill had gotten the tree out and had it set up.  It is the artificial we bought last year.  I love that it is pre-lit!  So, it was standing there with the lights on, but nothing else.  Needless to say, the kids were really excited that they got to put on the decorations.  And then chaos broke out!  They did all the decorating, but it was funny watching them.  They each have their favorite things, so they couldn't wait to find those things.  And Brooks was fascinated with all the foam boxes that things are packed in.  I believe he managed to destroy several of them, because it looked like popcorn when he crumbled it!  I guess I will be repacking some things in tissue this year.  LOL!  There seems to be a box or two still missing, so Bill is going to have to do another climb to the attic.  After all, we must have the stockings to hang! 

After the decorating and dinner, the kids decided we needed to be entertained.  They sang a little and danced some, as well.  It really was quite entertaining!  When it was time for them to go home, they were not ready.  It is always good to leave Grandma and Grandpa's house still wanting to stay - they will be anxious to come again!

The rest of our evening was quiet.  Tomorrow I will have a good bit of straightening up to do.  The decorations are still rather chaotic!  I am glad the kids had so much fun, though.  I am afraid that if it was left to me, I would probably not put anything out!

I got a call from one of the stake presidency this evening, too.  We have stake conference in December and he wanted me to speak at the Saturday evening session.  So, I guess that is one more thing that I will have to prepare!  I don't really mind speaking, so it shouldn't be a problem.  And the topic is about family history, so that should really be easy - as long as I can keep from being boring!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 29th - Another Saturday!

With the holiday week getting everything so messed up, it was fun to have a second Saturday!  I should have cleaned house, but all I really did was some laundry and family history.  I seem to be getting lazier every week!

Late morning, we headed out to the cemetery to put the Christmas greenery on Jason's grave.  It looks nice, although I think I should have added a red bow. 

When we finished at the cemetery, we went to the Duluth Diner for some lunch.  It is always a great place to go. We made a couple of shopping stops on the way home - Bill needed to get a new sprayer for a job this week.  We had tried Hobby Lobby yesterday and Joanne's today.  No luck.  So we finally gave up and went over near the mall to Michael's.  That is where he usually buys them, but had hoped to avoid mall traffic.  As it turned out, it wasn't bad.  And he was able to get what he needed.

Bill went out and mowed up the leaves on the lawn, so that looks good now.  Meanwhile, I was back doing the family history stuff and finishing the laundry.

And that was pretty much our day!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 28th - Saturday....No, Friday!... Well, it feels like Saturday!!!

Bill actually took off Friday, so he has a long weekend with no work.  It made it seem more like Saturday than Friday.  Besides relaxing and doing as little as possible, we went out for a late lunch at O'Charleys and then went to Hobby Lobby.  We wanted to get some flowers to take down to Jason's grave tomorrow.  Besides, it is a fun store to wander around and it wasn't too terribly busy, so it was actually enjoyable.  We avoided the mall area like the plague!

I spent a good bit of my at home time working on family history.  I will have to finish up on my friend's family in the next day or two, because I have so many other things lurking that need to be addressed.  Doing the research is a lot of fun, though, so I keep saying, "One more day!"

I am not sure what tomorrow will be like, since we already did our Saturday.  It should be fun having two in one week!

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 27th - Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving Day started off quiet and lazy.  I did do a few loads of laundry and I had to make the sweet potatoes for dinner, but otherwise I mostly worked on the genealogy for my friend.  I found more things and had a lot of fun doing it!

In the afternoon, we headed over to Bill's sister Hazel's house for dinner.  Lisa and family came, as well, so there were nine of us for dinner.  We were all able to sit around the one table and we had a great time.  The food was good, but the best part was telling old stories and laughing together.  We really enjoyed it.  It has been a while since we had that kind of day with Hazel, John, and Joy and it turned out wonderful.  The kids had a fun time, too.  Ashby loved the dog and spent a good bit of time on the floor, petting and hugging her.  She also loved all the different doors in the house.  She said it was a "fun" house.  After dinner, they went outside and played in the backyard.  I was afraid they would be bored with no other children and in a place they were unfamiliar with, but they totally enjoyed their day, too.

A good Thanksgiving Day reminds me of so many things to be thankful for.  Life is hard sometimes - but the blessings far outweigh the struggles. Today, we were reminded of family love and the joy of being together and laughing together! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 26th - Visiting Teaching Day

Not Family History Center day - it was closed for the holiday week.  So my companion and I made the round of our three sisters.  We have been unable to connect with them this month - way too many conflicts.  So, I bought some small Christmas cactus plants and she provided homemade greeting cards and we delivered one to each of our sisters.  We were even able to come in and visit for a few minutes with two of them.  It always feels good to do the right thing!

When we finished we went to Fusion Asian for some lunch.  We usually go after we finish at the center and we really like going out to lunch, so it was perfect!

On my way home, I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up a couple of things that I need to make the sweet potatoes for tomorrow.  Then I relaxed a little before working some more on my friend's family history.  I made a little progress, although I ended up not having much time. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 25th - Art Class Make Up Day

Since we didn't do art class last week, we made it up today.  Our project was tissue art and glue and we made a picture of a cornucopia with fruit.  They turned out really nice.  Next week we will outline the figures in black crayon so they will pop out, but we can't do that with wet tissue paper!

When they finished the project, the girls rushed to the Barbie box and were totally immersed in playing when Lisa and Brooks got back.  They had been to the Dollar Store to get things for the Joy school activities next week.  They will be celebrating Brooks' birthday and studying about dinosaurs.  He couldn't wait to show me all the dinosaurs they bought!

I spent the rest of my afternoon working on family history.  I had another friend, who now lives in Utah, ask for some help.  She saw on FaceBook that I had helped someone else the day before, so wondered if I could look at her problem, too.  Hers is a lot more complicated, but I love trying to find the answers.  I found some things, but not enough to really get through the brick wall, so I will try some more tomorrow.  I have not exhausted my possibilities yet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24th - It's Monday - What Else Can One Say?

At least it was not raining today!  Otherwise, it was just a Monday.  That meant the usual straightening up after the weekend, changing the sheets, running out to the store, picking up a prescription, resting in the big chair watching a little TV, etc.  I was actually pretty busy, but it is all such ordinary, boring stuff!

Well, that is except for the family history.  I was contacted by a friend who used to live in my ward who was having a struggle with her family history.  She sent me her user name and helper number so I could go in and see if I could help her.  Turned out that within a few minutes, I had found her problem and was able to report back to her.  We were both very excited!  I think she will be able to go back a couple more generations now.

I also worked a little on both of my presentations for the Family History Fair.  I think I am beginning to get a handle on both.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 23rd - Love My Sundays!

Today was another wonderful Sunday.  We spent the morning working on lessons, studying, etc.  I also put together everything for dinner.  Since I made a meatloaf, it took a little while, but everything was ready to put in the oven the minute I walked in the door.

My lesson went well.  We talked about submitting the names to the temple and covered a lot of good, basic information. 

The kids had just arrived at the house when we got home, so I quickly got things in the oven.  The meat loaf took longer than I had expected, though, so we ate a little later than usual.  It wasn't that big a deal, but I will try to remember to do meatloaf in even smaller pans next time.

We rented the movie Home Alone and the kids, especially Ashby, got a kick out of it.  She is just about the right age to enjoy all the shenanigans of the robbers and how little Kevin is able to outwit them.  We also had a fire going, as it was such a cool and rainy day.  It was very nice.  Lisa and the kids even roasted some marshmallows once the coals had gotten nice and red.

Our home teachers came by while the kids were still here and we had a nice visit, although a little shorter than usual!  We had little ones running through now and then trying to get attention.  It was really very funny.

It has been a great Sunday - I do love a day like this, even with all that rain!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 22nd - Fun Day with the Grandkids!

Ashby and Brooks both slept all night and didn't wake up until after 7:00 this morning.  Can't ask for better than that!  Ashby ended up staying in our bed, so I had a snuggler all night.  So sweet!  Brooks is funny - he doesn't just get out of bed in the morning.  He hollers until someone comes to get him.  He does that at home, too.  Anyway, once they were both up, they were anxious to play some more.

Eventually they decided they were hungry and chose to have French toast for breakfast.  We all enjoyed that.  Then it was get dressed and ready for the day.  They were really anxious for Grandpa to take them to the pet store.  They had wanted to go another time a few weeks ago, but Ashby didn't have her shoes.  She pointed out to Grandpa that she had shoes this time, so they needed to go to the pet store.

So, the three of them took off and had a great time at the pet store.  Just as they were about to leave, the dogs and kitties arrived, so they got to pet them, too.  Ashby informed me that there were two kitties who really loved her - they even licked her. 

Back home, they were very involved in their play.  When it came time for lunch, they wanted pizza, so Bill ran out to pick one up.  When you are at Grandma and Grandpa's house, you get whatever you want, you know!

We were just finishing the pizza when Lisa arrived to pick them up.  They were no ready to leave, so she stayed a while and we had a nice chat.  But, after a while, they were ready to go so they could see Daddy.

We had a wonderful spend-the-night with them.  They were both so good. 

Once they all left, we were both pretty tired!  It was a little too windy for Bill to be able to blow the leaves, so he was "forced" to watch football.  I worked on my Family History Fair presentations.  Yes, plural.  They just added a second one, so I will have two to prepare.  The second one will be on using timelines and similar charts to help with research.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 21st - Spend the Night!

After a rather normal day, Lisa brought the kids over late in the afternoon.  David is out of town on a camping/fishing trip with some friends and Lisa has to present a class at the stake leadership training in the morning, so she needed a place to put the kids.  We decided to have them just spend the night.

What a fun evening with them here!  They wanted mac-and-cheese for dinner, as well as plenty of other snacks.  They played with the Barbies and with the trucks and dinosaurs.  Oh, and of course, Brooks played with the train.  They had a ball playing hide-and-seek with Grandpa.  Then they watched some classic Disney cartoons on Grandpa's tablet.  The three of them were laughing like crazy - and I was laughing at them. 

We finally got ready for bed.  The plan was for the two of them to sleep in the guest bed together.  Brooks has graduated from the crib.  They could hardly wait to get into bed together, but then they just giggled like crazy.  After a few minutes, they got up, ate more snack, and then tried again.  This time Brooks went into bed alone and was asleep almost as soon as had walked out of the room.  Ashby snuggled in bed with me and was asleep be the time I got to the second verse in my scripture reading.  I think Ashby will just sleep in our bed all night with us. 

I then got up, did the things that needed to be done before bed, had a snack, and then climbed back in with my book.  And with Ashby cuddling up close, too.  Best thing ever!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 20th - No Art Class, But I Still Got Ashby!!

The kids have been fighting a virus over the last week or so.  Ashby got it last and they thought she was better, but during the night she had more coughing and light fever.  So, Lisa called her friend and said it probably wouldn't be a good idea to be exposed during art class.  Ashby still wanted to come to Grandma's house, so Lisa dropped her off and then went out to run some errands.  She came back after Brooks finished Joy School.  Abby was so disappointed to miss another art class, that we just rescheduled it for Monday.  So Ashby just played - mostly with the new Barbie knock-offs that I bought earlier in the week.  She did rest a little and watched some My Little Pony episodes on TV.  Needless to say, it was fun having her here. By the time Lisa and Brooks got back, Ashby was just cuddling in my lap and wanting her back rubbed.  I hope she is better by tomorrow, but she is clearly not herself today. 

When they left, I had some of the usual things to do around the house.  I had three loads of laundry that I had started first thing and needed to finish.  I worked on my May presentation a little, trying to get the format figured out.  Then I will have to teach myself Power Point. 

I got so tired in the late afternoon that I actually went in and took a nap - first one all week, but I guess it finally caught up to me.  It was a very nice nap, I must say!  It even gave me enough energy to actually cook some dinner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 19th - A Day of Adventures!

Being Wednesday, this was Family History Center Day.  Being the 3rd Wednesday, it was also Genealogy Study Group.  I picked my friend up and we got to the church about 9:30, so we could start setting things up. 

The meeting went well.  The last part, we divided into two groups to work on computer related things.  Half the group came into the FHC to learn about the Premium Websites.  There were more than 8 people (the number of computers we have), but they shared as we went over the list of sites.  Then they had some time to work on their own.  There were lots of questions and some excited people who found things.  It was definitely not a quiet day for Phyllis and I!

When we finished up at the church, we headed out for lunch at Firehouse Subs.  I love their hot subs!  As we were driving out of the parking lot, a car backed right into the side of my car.  Fortunately, I was driving very slowly or it could have been worse.  As it is there are marks on the passenger side back door where the back of the SUV hit it.  We ended up wasting about 45 minutes while we waited for the police officer to come and prepare the report.  She was at fault, but it is still an irritation.  Hopefully, her insurance will come through quickly.

By the time I got home, it was mid-afternoon.  I had a few things to get done at home and then I was just plain tired!  I relaxed and watched a show and then I was back on the computer.  The rest of the day was pretty ordinary. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 18th - Tuesday Shopping

After I had done all the usual stuff around the house, I went out to do a little shopping at Tuesday Morning - seems appropriate!  I went looking for some more tissue paper (better colors) and some small easels for the art show.  I successfully found both, plus a few other things, as well.  It is such a fun store to be in!  I ended up buying some knock-off Barbies to put in the Barbie box here.  I also got a magic kit to give to Ashby for Christmas.  She has been interested in learning tricks lately.  There were several other things, as well.  Fun way to spend an hour or so.

This evening, I met the sister missionaries at the home of a couple who have been investigating the church.  They are a young married couple and have attended several times.  They were interested in getting some help with family history, so that was why I was asked to come.  We had a fun evening, getting them logged in to FamilySearch and teaching them how to add and link people.  His grandfather was a member, so much of his family history is done.  They got so excited when we linked in and they saw it all.  I love doing things like this!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 17th - Monday, Monday, Monday - What Else Can I Say?

Mondays are always a catch-up day - after the weekend, starting the week, etc.  Today was just the usual Monday.  And it was raining, so that just added to that dreary feeling.  I did the usual routine stuff, getting the house in order, etc.  I worked on my next lesson for the family history class and am now prepared with that.  Plus, several other odds and ends.

We were supposed to go to Empty Nesters this evening, so I made a plate of deviled eggs to take.  It turned out Bill's job was bigger than expected, so he didn't get home until 8:00.  Needless to say, I now have a lot of deviled eggs to eat!

I also ran out in the afternoon to Staples.  I had my bonus coupons, worth a total of $40, that expire in December, so I picked up mostly art stuff for our art class.  It was kind of fun to spend $55 and only have to pay $15! 

So my dreary Monday actually turned out to be a rather fruitful day!  Who knew!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 16th - Taught Two Classes Today!

Another great Sunday.  We had our usual quiet Sunday morning, finishing up lessons and relaxing.  I had to work on two lessons, as I substituted in Relief Society, as well as teaching the family history class.  Both went well.  The RS lesson was on prayer and it was easy to get the sisters to do most of the talking.  I tried to focus on slightly different things that normal and it went well.  I think there was a nice spirit there.

Ashby has caught the virus that Brooks had and she is much sicker than he was.  As a result, they didn't come over for dinner.  I had already thawed a salmon, so we went ahead and cooked it - with 3/4 of it left over!  As it turned out, Brooks was climbing the walls after being house-bound for several days, so Lisa and Brooks came over for a while.  It gave Ashby a chance to rest without him bothering her.  It also gave her Daddy's undivided attention.  Brooks wanted to play with Grandpa, so they played with the train set most of the time.  We also made some rice krispie treats, which are his favorite! 

We missed having them all here for dinner, but it was nice to have Lisa and Brooks for a little while anyway.  We sent home some of the left over salmon with her.  At least I won't be throwing so much away.  It is always a day-brightener to have Brooks around - he is such a hoot and keeps us laughing!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 15th - Saturday is Chore Day and a Little More!

There was a Relief Society Super Saturday today, but I chose not to go.  I am no longer into crafts that much.  They did have a humanitarian project going also, but I guess I was just lazy!  Of course, I didn't just lay around at home, so maybe I wasn't really lazy.

Among other things:  3 loads of laundry, clean the refrigerator, plan Sunday dinner, attend tithing settlement, work on my family history lesson, work on the Relief Society lesson that I have to sub for, cleaned out my emails, answered some family history emails that were a bit overdue, etc..........  I never get a nap!

Bill was home today, too.  I like it when he actually takes a day off from work.  We went over to tithing settlement together and then ran a chore on the way home.  He also took off to do a few other chores, including picking up some things at the grocery store that I didn't get yesterday.  (I buy what he need - he buys the "good stuff.")  He also picked up some wood, so we can have a fire.  This morning was the coldest we have had so far, 27 degrees. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 14th - On the Go Today

I started my morning at home, doing laundry, changing sheets, and the other usual things.  I was in the process of emptying the dishwasher when I got a call from one of the sisters in the ward.  She had talked to me at church about getting some help with her family history and I had told her to call when she wanted me to come.  Well, it turned out that today was a good day for her.

So I went on over to her house about noon and we spent the next three hours working on her family history.  She is trying to learn FamilySearch family tree and I think we covered enough there so she can do it on her own now.  She is from Chile, so her research is different than what I am used to doing.  She actually had some good stuff already, but had one line that she needed help with.  We got that added and also found several new documents.  She was very excited! 

On my way home, I stopped at the grocery store and did some shopping.  We were out of the basics like milk, bread, yogurt, and some other things.  I spent about $100 - these days that isn't that many bags of groceries!  Anyway, I got them carried in and put away.

I had just gotten the laundry out of the dryer and the wet load into it when Bill got home.  I hadn't realized I had spent my whole day already!  I worked some on the lesson I have to sub for in Relief Society on Sunday, had a grilled cheese and tomato soup, and relaxed a little before curling up with my book.

It has been a busy day, but a great one.  It is always fun to help people with family history!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 13th - Art Class

Lisa dropped Ashby and Brooks off.  Abby was sick and couldn't come today.  Brooks has been sick, so she kept him out of joy school today.  She had some errands to run, so the kids stayed here for a few hours.  We had a very fun time!

We did Ashby's art class.  Brooks played with his train and then drew some pictures while Ashby worked on her project.  We did paper weaving today.  She made a Navajo "blanket" and it turned out really cute.  Weaving is one of the skills that first graders are supposed to learn and I am trying to make sure we cover all the criteria.
Ashby chose the sun from the Indian symbols to draw on the center of her blanket.  She is so cute in the picture, as she lost the second front tooth and now is toothless!

When Lisa got back, we had a chance to sit and talk a while.  We have been so busy lately that it had been a while since we just talked, so we both enjoyed it.  The kids were both so good and didn't want to leave yet.  That is always best - leave just before they begin to get bored!  After all, we want them to come back!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon, what was left of it, working on some family history stuff.  I got the pedigree chart and family group sheet ready for the person who had inquired and got it sent to her.  I have some more presentations coming up over the next few months, too, so I did a little work on that.

Bill picked up a pizza on his way home tonight, so that was our dinner.  I had hardly eaten all day, so it was really good! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 12th - It's Wednesday, so it must be...... Yup!

I enjoyed my morning at the Family History Center, although there were no patrons again.  I always take something to work on, though, so I keep very busy.  Plus, Phyllis and I love to talk, so that takes a bit of time, as well.  LOL!

This afternoon, I mostly worked on some family history.  I discovered that I had received a message on Ancestry a while back and I had not responded, so I spent the rest of my time checking out the person she asked about, trying to make sure everything was in order.  I will have to finish it up tomorrow, though, as there are several generations involved.  It is always fun to just focus on my family history, though.  That is one thing about this calling - I spend so much time doing other family things that my own research has suffered.

Bill went home teaching this evening, so I relaxed and watched a little TV.  Something from Amazon Prime again.  Then I headed to bed to read.

Great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 11th - Veterans Day!

Veterans Day was such a big deal when I was a kid.  I am glad that it seems to be getting more recognition the last few years.  I am certainly grateful for all who have served, including my husband, my uncle, my grandfather, my brother, and many others in the family. 

Today was another stay-at-home day for me, but I did keep busy.  I had one of the women from church come over to get a little help with family history.  Our youth went to the temple this evening and her daughter was going for the first time.  She had gotten permission to take the names of her husband's two grandmothers, but needed to get the cards prepared.  We managed to get it done for her and she was able to go to the temple with her daughter to see her get baptized for two of her great-grandmothers.  Very nice.

I also spent a good bit of my time working on some of the presentations I have coming up.  The biggest one is not until May, but it will be at a Family History Fair and people will expect me to know what I am talking about, plus I will need to have a good power point to go with it.  It is on Finding Your Female Ancestors.  I am still in the research stage, although I have a lot of good information now that I need to study in depth. 

Bill went with the youth to the temple this evening, so I relaxed, had some popcorn, and watched the rest of Bleak House.  Now I will have to find another program to watch. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 10th - Recovery!

We had such a great weekend with Connie and Jack, but I was sure tired today!  I did all the laundry that I had ignored on Saturday, so that kept me pretty busy - 5 loads.  I had some computer things that needed to be worked on.  Plus, all the usual stuff.

By early afternoon, I was spent.  So today I took a rather long nap and enjoyed every second of it!  When I lie down to nap, I usually read for a bit and then fall asleep; today I didn't even bother to read!

In other words, I didn't do anything worth writing about today, although I did everything done that I had planned to do.  I guess that makes for a successful day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 9th - Sunday with Connie and Jack

This was our last day having Connie and Jack visiting with us.  We all slept in and when we were finally all up and showered, Bill fixed us eggs and grits for brunch.  We never stop talking so it is not hard to fill a morning!

They went to church with us, which was fun.  I loved introducing them to my church friends - most of my closest friends have heard about my college roommates and they enjoyed meeting one of them! 

I had my family history class, but the number attending was down today, but we still spent the time answering questions and doing some things in FamilySearch.  They are getting to know better how to do things.

From church, we went straight to the hotel so they could get checked in and relax a little before they start the week of the welding convention.  Jack thought there was a reception Sunday evening; Connie disagreed.  Either way, they made it to the hotel and were able to do whatever it turned out they needed to do!  It was such a fun weekend with them.

When we got back home, I had time to get a quick bite and then had to take off again for a stake family history meeting.  Our meeting part only takes about half an hour, then I led the training on FamilySearch.  We have several new consultants who are not familiar with it, plus we had a couple of people from the community who came, as well.  It went pretty well, I think.  They "voted" to have me continue the discussion at our next meeting in January.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 8th - Such a Fun Day!

We all slept in this morning.  Once everyone was up and showered and had eaten something for breakfast, we drove up to Helen.  Jack had never really seen anything in Georgia.  Connie was with the roomies when we were in Helen a few years ago.  We got up there in time to have lunch at our favorite spot.  We ate outside, although it was a little cool.  You just can't beat sitting on the patio next to the river, though, and I was not cold at all. 

We then walked the street for a while.  The day was so beautiful that it was just fun.  The place was pretty busy, with quite a lot of cars, but it was not so crowded that it took away the fun.  Jack bought himself a new Swiss Army knife.  We bought some candy at the candy store (no surprise there!)  We enjoyed walking through several of the shops, just window shopping.  The guys really had fun in the wooden toy store.  The last store we went to was the one with the miniature music boxes.  Connie wanted to get several for Christmas gifts for granddaughters.  She had gotten several when we were here last time, so this was for some of the others.

Our last stop was at the funnel cake store.  Bill and Jack had ice cream, from the same store, while Connie and I pigged out on the funnel cakes.  Then we went back to the car and started the nightmare of getting out of Helen with all the traffic.  We managed to find some side streets that helped, but we still had to get back in the line of traffic to get across the bridge. 

From there, we headed over to Tallulah Gorge, which is on about a half hour drive.  We were getting late into the afternoon, but still had a couple hours of light, so we had time to walk down the path a little and enjoy the spectacular view.  Bill and Jack even decided to climb down the 620 steps to the suspension bridge.  Actually, it turns out that it is 620 to go down and back up.  Even so, they could feel the legs burning by the time they got back up to the top!

It was dark by the time we got home, so we just ordered in some Chinese and had a wonderful dinner at home.  It was cool enough that we started a fire and enjoyed that, too. 

What a great day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 7th - What a Busy Day!

I hit the ground running this morning, as I had my day pretty packed.  Besides trying to do the last minute straightening around the house, I had to fix a dinner for a family for tonight.  I ended up heating up a ham, boiling some good potatoes and steaming some sliced carrots. 

When I got the meal packed up, I had to run by to pick up a couple of frozen meals from the RS president.  Then I had to go by and pick up the sister missionaries, who wanted to go with me.  The sister we were going to visit is deaf and they both sign a little.  She broke both bones in her leg about a month ago and is confined to bed for seven weeks!  Because she is deaf, she attends our ward (the designated deaf ward) even though she actually lives outside of the ward boundaries.  That was why the missionaries couldn't just drive down to see her themselves - they cannot drive out of their district.  Anyway, we had a very nice visit with her.

After dropping the missionaries back at their apartment, I came home and did a few more odds and ends.  Bill had a quick estimate this morning, so he was already home when I made it back and had been doing some extra cleaning - like the vacuuming, which I rarely do.  He also had time to do some yard work.

Then we headed off to the airport to pick up my college roommate and her husband, who are in town for a welding convention.  Timing worked out so we were able to just pull up to baggage claim and pick them up.  It is so fun to see them.  We stopped at Red Lobster on the way home to have a nice dinner.  They had not eaten since early morning and were starving - as were we, actually.

We stayed up for a while talking and catching up.  It is so fun to have them here.  They will stay the weekend and then on Sunday we will take them to their hotel.  We are looking forward to a great weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 6th - Art Class Day

I got started this morning by stripping the sheets on both beds and getting them in the washing machine.  I also had several other loads of laundry to tackle through the day.  We have friends coming to visit for the weekend and I am trying to get things at least reasonably clean.  I even picked up all the toys in the guest room so it isn't quite such a mess.

The girls arrived for their art class.  I got a text from Lisa shortly before they arrived saying that they were not being rude, but the girls insisted that they didn't need any adults walking them to the door - they were big enough to do it by themselves.  They grow up too fast!!!

Our project today was "Fall Reflections."  We folded art paper in half and painted on the top half only.  Then we would fold it over and let the paint make a print on the bottom half.  We ended up with pictures that look like trees that are reflected in a lake.  It was a lot of fun and they turned out really nice.  The technique was an introduction to printing - this was mono-printing, since we printed one color or area at a time.

They stayed and had lunch here and around 2:00, Lisa came and picked up them.  Brooks was sleeping in the car, so they didn't come in.  Then I did a few more things with the laundry and the house.  Plus, I have to take a dinner tomorrow and I got that figured out. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 5th - Wednesday Again? Man, the Weeks Are Rolling By Fast!

Yes, it is Wednesday again, so that meant spending the morning at the Family History Center.  We didn't have any patrons, again, but one of the people will be working the afternoon shift starting today did come early so I worked with her.  She had come in a couple of weeks ago with the sister missionaries.  She had some questions, so we worked together trying to make sure she was comfortable with everything.  Her partner for the afternoon shift came in shortly before we were to leave. 

I spent the afternoon doing various odds and ends at home.  We have guests coming this weekend, so I had some things to get done - like getting all the toys put away since the toy room and the guest room are the same room!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 4th - Day to Vote!

About the only thing of consequence that I accomplished today was to go out and vote.  It wasn't that busy at the polls either.  After filling out the paper work and getting my voting card, there were four people in front of me waiting to go into the voting booth.  Didn't take long at all.  That is great for me, but kind of sad that more people don't vote.  I would like to think that most of them voted early, but I doubt it.  Any way, I was a good citizen and now I have the right to complain!

I spent a good bit of time working on family history again today.  I keep finding families on FamilySearch that are a mess.  It takes a while to get them cleaned up sometimes, because I want to document everything before I make changes.  I keep adding the names to my list to be fixed - just another thing in my to-do pile!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3rd - Manic Monfay - ot Just Headache Monday which Makes It Seem Manic?

I think this was our coldest morning yet and there was frost on the ground and on the car windows.  The thermometer said it was 34, but it was probably a little colder than that before the sun came up.  I guess winter will come again!

Perhaps it was the weather, but I woke up with a horrible headache and couldn't seem to get rid of it.  I did my usual routine stuff, but I didn't feel like doing anything more than what I had to do.  I worked on family history - back to the family I have been working on a little at a time for a few weeks - but it is hard to concentrate to hard when the head hurts!

Bill didn't have a job today, so we had a french toast breakfast (as opposed to my usual yogurt).  I finally had some popcorn in the evening, but I didn't have lunch at all.  I was just too stuffed! 

I did finally take a nap in the early afternoon, hoping to feel better afterwards.  The headache never completely went away, but it was much better after some sleep.  Maybe the problem is just the time change - everyone I know is blaming everything on the time change, so I might as well join the bandwagon!!

We kept hearing this buzzing sound every so often and couldn't figure out what it was.  We finally got it focused on the dining room area, but couldn't figure it out.  This evening, I was watching a little TV and the buzzing started again.  I was close enough to find it this time - it was David's cell phone sitting on the piano.  Ashby had been using it yesterday.  Good thing he has a different phone for work!

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 2nd - Start of a New Week

So the countdown to the holidays officially begins!  At least today was a wonderful day.  They will get more and more hectic as the next few weeks roll along.

The time changed this morning, so we woke up earlier than usual - well, not really, but the clock said we did.  Our morning was the usual - working on lessons, getting dinner put together, etc.

My class went well today.  They have a lot of questions and we spent some time answering those.  The lesson was good and my story emphasized the point, so it all worked out.  We even had enough time to get onto FamilySearch and do a little more editing.

When we got home, I got the rest of dinner going.  There was a pot roast in the oven with potatoes, carrots, green peppers, onion, mushrooms and garlic.  I also had other fresh vegetables that would be going bad, so I steamed a basket of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and green beans.  I also had a loaf of frozen bread dough.  All I had to do to finish dinner was steam the veggies and bake the bread.

Lisa and Brooks didn't come, since Brooks was napping.  We had a good time with David, Venett, and Ashby, though.  I think she enjoyed being the only one to get all the attention and she really did entertain us.  She played waitress to take orders for our desserts.  She even got a towel to hang over her arm, so she was totally in character!  Then she played Primary and set up a tray table and microphone and gave us some talks.  Very cute.  She and her daddy played Heart & Soul on the piano for us - several times.  She also had us put on some Broadway music and she did her ballroom dancing with her daddy.  She had all the attention!!

I always say that I love Sundays, and today proved just why!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 1st - BYU Football in Tennessee!

When BYU is that close, people think they should make the trip to see the game.  Bill was one of those people.  He went up with a couple of other families from the ward.  I was invited (as a courtesy only), but I declined.  I would rather stay home and clean house and do laundry than to go to a football game.  I am not sure why that is.  I used to love sports, but I can't tolerate them anymore.  Guess I am getting old!

So, I stayed home and did laundry and cleaned the house.  Of course, I was also lazy and watched a movie in the afternoon.  During the evening, I started another PBS British series.  In between, I spent some time on family history and getting my lesson finished up for tomorrow.  I even went through that darn pile on my desk and accomplished a few of those things.  Unfortunately, the pile is now bigger than it was before!  I think it has a life of its own.

Bill got back home around 11:45, which wasn't so bad since the time changes tonight.  Even so, I was already in bed and had been reading a new book.  I finished Mao's Last Dancer last night - loved it!  I started She Left Me the Gun tonight.  I think I am going to like it, too.  It is for an online genealogy book group.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

October 31st - Happy Halloween!

I went out today to get a haircut (she didn't do a very good job) and to pick up some groceries and candy for Halloween.  The rest of my day was rather a quiet one at home - doing the usual.  I was tired this afternoon, though, so I watched a show on Prime, some PBS British thing, that I actually thought was pretty good.

This evening was not that busy, either.  We had maybe four groups ring the bell - a total of 15 or 20 trick or treaters.  Of course, that means we have a ton of candy left over!  Not sure that is a good thing, but.......

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 30th - Art Class & Lunch

The girls were here to finish their art project today.  They painted the trees and pumpkins and the paintings turned out really cute!
I painted a picture, too, just to show them what to do, but they both took that instruction and made it personal.  I like that their paintings are so unique.  Smart girls and good artists!

David's mother is visiting, so she was along when they got here.  She was anxious to see the "art room" so she got the grand tour of our bonus room.  She enjoyed seeing all the projects they have finished so far.  They went out to shop while we did art class.  They picked Brooks up from pre-school on their way back.

Since it was lunchtime by then, we all went up to Del Rio for lunch and had a fun time.  We love sitting on the patio, as the kids can move around without bothering people.  Ashby and Abby had brought some Barbie dolls from my house and they entertained themselves  - and could have continued to a long time, if it hadn't finally been time to leave.

Venett and I got to talking about family history (we are both ward consultants) and she is already registered for Roots Tech in Salt Lake in February.  She convinced me to come, too.  I already wanted to go, but she and Lisa persuaded me.  She already has a room booked, which we can share.  When I got home, I registered.  Now I will just have to come up with some money for an airline ticket!  I am really excited.

On my way back home, I had to make a library run to pick up a book that was one hold.  Today was the last day to pick it up, so I made it under the wire!  It was a copy of a book that is being read as part of an online genealogy book group.  Should be fun!

The rest of my day - what was left of it - was pretty lazy.  I was mostly at the computer working on my usual pile of stuff.  I still can't figure out how I can get rid of a pile and have a new one the very next day! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 29th - Family History Day

First full day home and I got to go to the Family History Center for half of it.  I can't complain about that!  We didn't have any patrons, but I spent the whole time reviewing and getting acquainted with the premium websites that are available there.  I will have to sound like an expert about it at the next Genealogy Study Group, so I figured I had better start learning!

At home, I managed to get three loads of laundry done.  Other than that, I was mostly at the computer.  I worked on my Sunday lesson, on my presentation for the stake class in November, and on a handout for the premium websites.  It kept me busy!

It is good to fill the first day back with things I really enjoy - lessens the feelings of "I wish I was still on vacation!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 28th - North Carolina Day 5 - Heading Home

We were supposed to check out by 10:00, so we just had cereal for breakfast and got packed up.  There wasn't really much to do, though, as we didn't have to do any cleaning.  Well, other than the dishes, of course, but there weren't many dirty ones anyway.  Packing the leftover food only took a few minutes.  Suitcases were easy to pack since almost everything was dirty anyway.  We didn't want to leave, but finally decided we just needed to go ahead and go. 

We went back to Franklin by a different route than we had used before, but it took just about the same amount of time.  This time we were on the highway, rather than the mountain road.  It was a little longer, but much faster. 

When we got back to our area, we stopped for lunch at Red Lobster - give of the last hurrah of our vacation.  Then we were home, unloaded, unpacked, etc.  Bill had some errands to run and I was at the computer.  I mostly planned the art classes for next month, as I had nothing planned after this week.

It is good to be home, but it is always sad when a vacation ends, especially one that has been so good.  We enjoyed the few days we were away so much and the weather was absolutely perfect.  What more could we ask!!  Well, maybe that it could have lasted another day or two???

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 27th - North Carolina Day 4 - Fontana Dam

We started our morning as usual - lazy!  Loving it!  After another good brunch that Bill cooked (omelets, grits and bacon), we relaxed a little and made plans for the day.

Our first trip was to drive down The Road to Nowhere to see where it went, which was....... nowhere!  Actually, we had already found out that it was originally to be a road to the lakeside, and in fact is called Lakeside Drive, but six miles out, after building a tunnel through the mountain, the whole project was stopped and never competed.  As a result, the road really goes no where, although we did enjoy seeing the tunnel.

From there, we headed back into Bryson City and stopped at the city museum and visitors center.  We picked up a map and got instructions on how to get to the dam.  We also toured the museum, which was interesting, as it told the story of the Swain County area.

We then headed out to the dam.  It was about a half hour drive, but the drive was beautiful.  Of course, wherever we drive around here, it is on a mountain road and is beautiful.  The Fontana Dam itself was also interesting.  It is the largest dam (by height) east of the Rockies.  We also went into the visitors center to get information about its history and met a couple that volunteer there - such nice people.

We had planned to stop and eat, but when it came right down to it, we decided to just go back to the cabin.  We had chili dogs instead.  Not too exciting, but certainly more relaxed sitting at the table looking out the window that sitting in a busy restaurant!

The rest of our evening was the usual relaxed, do nothing important, that we are getting used to!  I sat out on the deck and read for a long time, until it got too dark.  Bill sat out there after dark so he could look at the stars again.

This is our last night.  Tomorrow morning we have to pack up and be out of here.  We have had such a great time.  I wish we had a couple more days!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 26th - North Carolina Day 3 - Clingmans Dome

What a beautiful day!  Of course, we were lazy this morning, doing nothing of great interest.  We loved it, though!  No, we didn't make it to church.  We had even brought our clothes, but neither one of us wanted to move fast enough to make it!  Sometimes, we are bad..............

Bill fixed us bacon, eggs, and grits for brunch, which we didn't even eat until 11:30 or so.  Then we took off for an afternoon adventure.  We had decided to drive to Clingman's Dome, the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is on the border of NC and Tennessee.  It was a little more than an hour's drive.  But, the drive itself was beautiful.  In fact, it was much like the Parkway itself, following the mountain ridge and opening to some beautiful views of the mountains and valleys.  With the fall colors, it is especially beautiful, although the colors are not as vibrant as they are sometimes.

You can drive almost to the top of the mountain, where they have parking, a store and then a trail up to the summit.  We had not expected it to be quite so busy - cars were parked way down the road and there was a line moving slowly through the parking lot.  Luck was with us, though, as a car pulled out and we were able to pull in to a parking space in the parking lot. 

The view was beautiful, but I did not hike to the summit.  It is a nice pathway, leading to a very unique observation tower, but I wasn't up to walking a half a mile up and then the same back.  I insisted that Bill go, though, as he has been wanting to take a walk.  While he was hiking, I checked out the store, bought a magnet, and then sat on a bench and enjoyed people watching.  Very entertaining, I must say!

Bill bought himself a tee-shirt when he got back that says he climbed to the top of Clingmans Dome.  Then we headed back.  The drive back was just as enjoyable.  Things look different going the other direction.  We had thought we would stop along the way for a late lunch/early dinner, but we didn't see anything that reached out at us and we decided there was plenty of food at the cabin.  When we finally got around to eating, we had soup and BLT's. 

We spent another quiet evening at the cabin.  I mostly read my book; Bill watched the Series.  He also sat out on the deck for a while, looking at the stars. 

Day 3 has been another success! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 25th - North Carolina Day 2 - Explore the mountains!

We had a very casual morning - didn't get dressed until who knows when.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed just relaxing and doing nothing of great importance.

By early afternoon, we decided it was time to get out, so we went for a nice, long ride in the car.  The first thing we wanted to do was to see where the road we are staying on ended up.  We discovered that Deep Gap Road is a big loop that starts and ends on Alarka Rd.  We went the other way on Alarka to see where it ended up, which was in the mountains at a dead-end.  Actually, we knew that road ended, but it was fun to drive it as it got narrower and then eventually became just a gravel road.  It was a beautiful drive, though.

After driving back down the mountain, we headed into Bryson City to get a feel for it.  We had only been to Bryson before when we had taken the train ride, which ends here.  So we had been in the downtown historic area, but that was all.  From Bryson, we stayed on the same road and went on up to Cherokee.  We have been there many times, but had never been on the road between the two.  It was another beautiful drive.  We may not make it to the Blue Ridge Parkway this time, but we are certainly getting plenty of beautiful mountain drives. 

We stopped at the grocery store to pick up butter - the main thing I forgot!  We got a couple of other things, as well - Bill can't go into a grocery store without "shopping around."  While we were out, we also stopped and had our lunch at a nice Mexican place in Bryson City. 

Back at the cabin, we fell back into lazy mode and enjoyed the evening.  We didn't do a big dinner, since we had eaten such a big (and late) lunch - just sandwich meat and cheese.

I have finished the book I was reading and have picked up a book from the cabin.  They have a shelf of books with a note to read all you want, take it if you don't finish, and feel free to leave any that you have read and don't want anymore.  I liked that.  I usually try to read what is in anyplace we stay, but it is not always quite so inviting.

Day 2 has been a wonderful, relaxing day.  We are looking forward too a few more days just the same - lazy, relaxed, do-nothing important!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 24th - North Carolina Day 1 - Getting Here!

I was up and at 'em this morning, as I had to make my run to the grocery store.  Everything else was packed and ready, at least all of my stuff!  Bill paid the bills while I was out.  When I got back, it only took a few minutes to get the food into the bin or the cooler and I was ready to go!  10:00 was my goal and I made it with time to spare!

Bill, on the other hand, was moving a little slower.  We finally got packed and on our way, having to stop at the post office and the bank on our way.  Still - not too late.  The drive up was nice - it was a beautiful day.  We got stuck a few times with traffic, though.  The first time, we were up past Gainesville where I-985 has become a four lane highway.  There were police cars blocking the traffic both ways at an intersection.  We waited patiently, thinking maybe a funeral procession was coming or something.  It turned out to be a classic car parade that was passing by.  Bill enjoyed trying to figure out what all the cars were.  He said that was the best reason ever to get stopped in traffic!

Going through Clayton, it was a terrible mess - barely stop and go.  We eventually got to the source - a bad accident right in the intersection, involving at least three vehicles.  The third delay was as we were driving from Franklin to Bryson City.  It is a little two-lane mountain road, very winding.  We got in a line of traffic behind a tractor, who proceeded to drive for several miles before he finally turned off.  Welcome to the mountains!

We had hoped to be at the cabin around 2:00, but it turned out to be more like 2:45, with all our delays.  We are pleased with the place.  It is very clean and well stocked with paper products, etc.  It is a nice layout, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The best feature is the deck off with a beautiful view!

We do not have cell phone service - I think it is the first time I have had my phone simply say "No Service."  But, there is wi-fi, so we have access to the computers and the other stuff on the iPhone. 

We got ourselves all moved in and stuff put away and then just enjoyed a quiet evening; a lot of it spent just looking out the window at the view and the sunset.  We fixed dinner here and Bill watched the World Series, while I read.

The first day is already a success!

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 23rd - Art Class - Way Too Much Fun!

Art class was today and the girls worked on their big pumpkin patch paintings.  They are very serious about what they are doing and it is so cute.  Today we finished all the background and got the barn painted.  Next week we will do the trees and pumpkins and it should be finished!

The rest of the day was busy, too.  I changed sheets and then did an additional five loads of laundry.  I got my suitcase packed.  I got the food planned and a shopping list made out.  Oops, I was too tired to actually go to the store, so that will have to be done first thing in the morning. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 22nd - Family History Day - What Else? It is Wednesday!

The steering committee for the Genealogy Study Group was standing at the door when I got to the Family History Center this morning.  We had scheduled a follow-up meeting to discuss a couple of things that needed more time.  We had a good meeting and were able to accomplish everything on our agenda.  We just met in the Center, since I was there alone today.  I had two patrons come in, as well, but they were both working on their own and did not require my help.  Then the sister missionaries came in with a sister who had just been baptized and had been called to work at the Center.  She thought she was supposed to work from 12 - 2, but I didn't know anything about it.  I spent a little time with her and got her going on FamilySearch so she could get some names to take to the temple to do baptisms for later this week.  She will come back tomorrow to meet with Brother Peoples. 

I went straight from the Center to visit teach.  My appointment was for 1:00, but I was just a little bit late.  My companion had called earlier that she couldn't make it because of some family issues, so I went on alone.  We had a great visit. 

When I finally got home, Bill was already home.  He had a light work day today.  I had some lunch and then worked on some computer things.  He had some errands and then went home teaching this evening.

We got a final confirmation for the cabin, so we will be going to NC on Friday, after all.  We are excited.  Hopefully, the place will be nice.  Pictures look good, but one never knows.  At least it is really up in the mountains!

Tomorrow will be a big day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 21st - Happy Birthday, Jason!

It is hard to imagine Jason at age 37, but that is how old he would be today.  Of course, he will always be 21 to us.  We didn't "do" anything, other than remember him.  Interestingly, one of my high school classmates lost a college age daughter in a car accident near that same time.  I didn't know until today that she lost her on October 21st, Jason's birthday.  We messaged a little about it today.

Other than running a couple of errands, I was home most of the day.  Yes, working on family history, mostly. 

Lisa and David wanted to go to the temple this evening, as the daughter of a friend was taking out her endowments prior to leaving on a mission.  I went over to their place around 5:00, so I could watch the kids.  We had a great time, but they were both so tired that they were in bed pretty early - Ashby by 7:30 and Brooks right after. 

Bad news today was that we found out there is a problem using the cabin this weekend, which we have been planning to do.  So when I got home, we looked for some alternatives that weren't too expense and found a possibility.  We should find out tomorrow if we get it.  Of course, everything is more expensive than free, but we are so looking forward to spending a long weekend in North Carolina that we decided that spending a few hundred extra was worth it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 20th - Family Home Evening - In Other Words "Let's Go Out for Dinner!"

I spent almost the whole day working on family history.  I had to clear up some things left from my Sunday class.  Then I worked some more on the Cantrell family that is such a mess on FamilySearch.  I made quite a bit of headway, but sometimes things just go so slowly!

I finally gave out mid-afternoon and took a nap.  It was supposed to be a short one, but ended up being a little longer than I had planned!  I guess I was tired.  I don't really like to nap, but I have been so sleepy lately, so I finally have given up.

Bill got home a little bit early and suggested that we go out for dinner for Family Home Evening.  We rarely do anything for FHE, so it was obviously just an excuse to go out.  We went to Longhorn's and had very good steaks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 19th - Back to Sunday Already - Best Day of the Week!

Today was another of those repeat days - pretty much the same as every other Sunday.  Then again, why would we change anything that works so well?

My class went well.  I had about 10 people and we spent the whole time online learning Family Tree person page.  It was part two of the lesson started last week.  I think they all learned something and they certainly had plenty of questions and comments.  That makes teaching even more fun.

At home, I got dinner cooking.  I had made a chicken Mexican rice casserole this morning, so it had to bake.  Because it was so cold, though, it took longer to get hot than I had anticipated.  I ended up putting it in the microwave to finish.  I should have thought of that in the first place.  We also had yellow squash and onions, along with some cucumbers.  I was actually pretty good.  I will need to actually buy some meat one of these days!

While we were waiting for the casserole to heat up, the kids were playing outside and wanted sheets put up on the fort so there was a roof and walls.  Ashby decided it was like a stage, so we had to watch her "show."  It was cute.  She is into pratfalls and trying to make us laugh.  After dinner, we had to go back out and watch another show in the dark.  She wanted the flashlight to be a spotlight.  Very funny!

Later, our home teacher came by for a nice visit.  We do enjoy him.

All in all, another "best day of the week."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 18th - Cleaning Day

Bill was invited to have breakfast with David and the kids and then to help him finish up a job.  Of course, his primary purpose was to babysit the kids, since they were along on the job.  That left me alone at home, so I was able to really get a lot done.  I seemed to have more energy than usual, so I was able to do a pretty thorough cleaning in the house - better than usual, anyway.  Plus, there were some loads of laundry to finish up.  And, of course, I had to figure out dinner for Sunday.  I am out of meat, other than a couple of small items, so I had to either go to the store or get creative.  I chose creative!

In between cleaning chores, I worked on the computer.  I had to get ready for my Sunday lesson.  We will just be doing FamilySearch, but I needed to find a family that I could use as an example to make corrections, merge duplicates, etc.  Mission accomplished! I also managed to clear off quite a bit of the excess piles of things from the desk.  It looks much better now, although there is still one pile.  I will never get everything done!

Bill got home in the afternoon, took his nap, and then headed outside to work on the yard.  So between us, we got a lot of work done on the house today.