Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random happenings

Here are some random things going on in our life.
Dad and Susan went to a...what is this?...a 60s dance? Looks more like a 70s dance.
Do they look cool or what?

Cami always wants to go right to Great Grandpa Rozier

Don' t you just love Elora's natural highlights.

I picked up Elora from school today. As the kids go out the door their teacher shows them a word and they have to read it. So I heard one word from each child....net, set, let,
But when Elora came out she had her read, "better", since she is in a reading group by herself :)
What I thought was interesting too is this little boy in the red. He stood by the door until Elora came out and then gave her a big long hug, and then walked away. I asked her who he was and she said, "Oh he stands there every day and gives me a hug." I asked if he hugs anyone else and she said, no. I asked if he hugged her on the playground. She said very matter of fact, "No, just at the end of each day."

Elora loves to play Bingo.
Today she wanted to play it again.
I was tired so as I dozed on the couch, she took charge of both our cards, plus did the spinner.
I sent the game home with her. With any luck, she'll lose it.

When I picked Cami up from school I got to meet her little classmate, Faith.

As I had Cami in the stroller on the way back to the car the sun was shining on her hair and it just glistened with red highlights. They don't show up here like they did in the sun, but I had to take this picture. Gorgeous hair on this sweet little girl.

Elora stopped by one evening just so she could take a bath in my large bathtub.

Macie and Laurynn were eating chocolate chip cookies made by Logan that did not look all the way done. (the cookies, not the girls)

And last but certainly, positively, not least....Karen Mortensen turned 49 today!
She is the sister in law of my sister Robin, and a REAL SWEETHEART.
You can visit her blog at tkdmortensen.blogspot.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!!!!!!!!! You deserve the BEST!!!!!
Doesn't she look so pretty?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don' t want to forget these...

Our annual Relief Society Broadcast was very nice last Saturday, but also somewhat "generic" as some have said. It was good to be reminded of what we know. And I have listened to President Uchtdorf's talk twice since the first time. He had some excellent quotes I do not want to forget, so here they are:

"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair. Let us feel the silent prayers of those around us and let us be instruments in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."

"As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves."

And he quoted Spencer W. Kimball:
"The more we serve others in appropriate ways, the more there is to our souls. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness."

He also quoted Lorenzo Snow:
(My friend Pam told me this morning this one is her favorite from his talk.)
"When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find someone who is in a worst plight than yourself. Go to him, find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom the Lord bestows upon you. And the first thing you know,
gloom is gone.
You feel light.
The spirit of the Lord is upon you and everything seems illuminated."

I can hardly wait for General Conference this weekend!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

While I was gone...

I just left him alone for 5 hours.

I went out to dinner with my daughter in law Amy and her mom Karen.
We wanted Erin to go with us but she was working at the temple.
After dinner we all sat together for our annual Relief Society Broadcast at the stake center.

Then I called Dennis and asked if he would like to go grocery shopping with me. He said no, his leg was hurting and he better not go this time. He always goes with me when I ask, so I thought that was a bit odd. Oh well. So I went by myself.

I came home to this:
What did that mean??

Then he showed me his leg:
He accidentally fell in the pool, scraping his leg on the edge as he went in.
His back was sore from working at the grape vineyard earlier that morning...which caused him to lose his balance while fixing something out by the pool...causing him to fall in.

His cell phone was in his pocket at the time, so that is a goner.
Luckily he was able to save his watch by keeping his arm straight up when he fell in.
Must be his cop thinking.

He's just not use to being home without me.

BTW...It took till now for Dennis to give in and let me put this on here.
Good sport, honey.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Can you spare 43 seconds?

My little granddaughter Campbell has recently learned to take tissues out of the box and blow her nose. She will sit there and have the best time with a box of Kleenexes.
Of course, not quite as cooperative once I turn my camera on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Mommy of his boyhood

I had been reading the book above, and then stopped. Dennis had been curious about it, so he was reading it also. He gave it up, too. Was it really NECESSARY for the author to use the language she did?? Granted, it could have been a lot worse, and there were probably only a handful of ugly words, but I've lost my tolerance for them.

Life is too short for words like that to be swimming around in my brain.

HOW DID WE ALL SURVIVE HIGH SCHOOL?! Profanity was going off all around us, all the time. Same, or probably worse, when my sons were attending high school.

Before I ditched the book, aside from some of the language however, I was enjoying it, and relating to much of it. The subtitle above the title reads:

"An Almost Completely Honest Account of What Happened to Our Family When Our Youngest Son, His Wife, Their Baby, Their Toddler, and Their Five Year Old Came to Live With Us for Three Months."

So much of this I could relate to. When they are back under our roof, I turn into the "Mommy of their boyhood" as the author states.
I can't help it.

This book made me realize that it's just not me. So for that, it felt liberating.

Read Page 9:

In spite of myself going into the worry mode when my boys come home for awhile...it's worth it! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when my children come to see us. Those are SWEET times, CHERISHED times....the ones who live in town, or the ones who come from out of town.

For those of you who have adult children coming home to visit and you don't have a guest room for them...how about buying this sofa that converts into bunk beds?
(just kidding :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I grew up in the same ward with Mary Butler. When it came time to start going to early morning seminary, our moms use to carpool together, so I was able to get to know her better. Then, sometime in our later teenage years, she and her family moved to Southern California. Mary and I corresponded through the mail for years and years.

So where am I going with this?

On Sept. 8th, Mary's 20 month old niece, Callie, was run over in her parents' driveway by a close family friend driving an SUV. Callie is the 13th and youngest child of Mary's brother Jeff and his wife Dana. She still has not woken up completely but they expect her to.

Callie before the accident.
"Callie-fornia" as her sister Ashley calls her.
Callie with her parents, Jeff and Dana.

Every night for the past couple weeks, after I go to bed, when all is quiet, I think of little Callie and what her family must be going through. I think how fragile life is and how quickly it all can change. I think how my Mom use to say often, "What a difference a day can make."

I know this family feels very blessed that Callie is still alive and that she is ever so slowly progressing. They continue to hope and pray for a miracle.

Callie's grandmother was quoted in their Arizona newspaper:

"We are thrilled with the prayers and all the help. A lot of people have been so supportive and we wanted to say that we are so grateful for all the prayers that have been offered on her behalf, and our friend. I can't even imagine being in his place,"
The friend, whom she requested not be identified, is "devastated."
"My daughter and son-in-law don't blame him at all. It was a tragic accident," she said."

They are being protective of the friend who accidentally ran over Callie.
To me, this says volumes about this family.

We will continue to pray for Callie and her family.
If you would like to keep on her progress go here.

For you who remember the Butlers, here is a picture taken about a year ago when Jeff and Dana's oldest son got married. This shows all 13 of their children.

(Callie's siblings, in the order of birth: Justin, Ashley, Jamison, Micah, Amber, Marcus, Elise, Burke, Emma, Haley, Hayden, and Brinley)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

With General Conference coming soon

...I thought you might be interested in what Tyler's girlfriend had to say on her blog this week.
I love her writing style.

First, here's a picture of Tyler and Karen, in case you have forgotten what they look like.
(Who are both coming home to us for Thanksgiving!! Yeah!!!)
Sorry, McKay, we will have to wait till Christmas to see you.
And when will we get to be with Kim and Kris again? We miss you :((

Kim, Tyler, Karen, Kris, McKay

Okay, now on to her blog from yesterday:
(And by the way, she gave me permission to share this)

"I really have the best job ever.

But it is SO much work.

But worth it.

Last week, I was working the BYU football game in the Presidential Loge, and had a really fun experience.

Elder L. Tom Perry came up and talked to me!!!

Now, the rule in Catering, is that we cannot talk to the customers. Especially the high profile ones. We are there for service, not to bug the guests. So, often, we get to work with higher profile guests, but we cannot initiate a conversation. If we do, we risk losing our jobs.

Lynne, the assistant manager of Dining Services, assures us that we will be instantly terminated.

BUT... if they come talk to us... no prob~!

So during half-time last week, my friend Ruth and I were serving ice cream to the guests in the loge. And guess who came through the line? President Perry! Ruth served him ice cream, and he moved on to talk to other guests.

But he came back later, and stood next to me. He asked, "How is the ice cream coming along." I smiled, and said something dumb, like.. "It's great! Can I get you another scoop?" He declined my offer, and told me he was on a diet. I laughed. (He had a piece of cobbler with ice cream on top in his hand.) "Whatever for?" I asked. He then proceeded to tell me that every year, before Conference, he has to lose ten lbs. Otherwise, when he sits down, the button on his coat will pop off and his coat will fly open. "And sure enough," he said, "the camera catches it every time!"

To which I laughed very much, and he moved on.

Yesterday, there were four apostles at the BYU game.
1- Elder Worthlin-- he comes to every game, but he just takes his seat and watches the game. He sends whoever is with him to get him food.

2- Elder Nelson-- He was so kind. He got to the game a little early, and came right up to us catering kids. We were all clumped together, and he made small talk about the food that was on the table. I didn't say anything. Instead, I tried to step out of his way...

3- Elder Scott-- He was a fun apostle to get to see. He was so very friendly to everyone. I couldn't help but smile at him as he walked by me. But instead of walking by, he stopped, put his hand on my arm and said, "Keep that beautiful smile." It made me feel so good! He didn't have to stop and say anything, but he did!

4- President Uchtdorf-- He was pretty busy throughout the game. But, he did smile at me! And possibly winked. That made me feel good, too.... And I think his family was with him in the box seats next to the loge. I know that his wife was there. She made sure that the event staff (who couldn't see the game) were updated on the happenings of the game. Every touch down and major happening, she'd peak out the door and update the event staff, and any caterer who happened to be in the hall, as to what was going on.

So, I'm really enjoying my time at Catering... and there are rumors of another potential promotion coming my way. But... with how busy my schedule has been, and will be... I just don't think that it would be a good idea. It is nice that they like me though.

Anyway, cool stories, huh?"

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Real Story

I want to tell the truth here. Or rather, clear up some truth. My post on A Bed Away From Home, apparently has become a tad bit controversial, considering the comments left after that post, and the few phone calls about it. Before I sent it Den suggested I take out the part about him being fun in a hotel room. He thought some may get the wrong idea of what I was meaning. I said, no they won't. :)

Now I will tell you what I meant by him being fun in a hotel room. Whenever we spend the night somewhere Dennis brings a crossword puzzle book and I bring a few magazines. We sit side by side on the sofa, him doing this crosswords and me doing my reading. Then we will go out looking in the lobby (me in my jammies and slippers) for some hot water so I can make my CalMax (a drink I found on an infomercial years ago)

We then go to their little inside market and stand there looking at everything they sell. Almost every single time we don't buy anything. Then we ask if they have any vending machines. We are usually told they are on the 2nd floor, so we take the elevator up to the 2nd floor. We look at the vending machines, and again buy nothing.

I go back to the front desk and ask if we can have some extra blankets. They usually give them to us just fine. Last time Dennis asked if he could use one of the decorator pillows off the couch in the lobby (he likes a firmer pillow)...and surprisingly they said, sure, so we took that back to our room, too.

Once we get back to our room, we eat the snacks that I have brought from home.

Now do you see why I did not explain why Dennis is fun in a hotel room? We are boring. We know we are. But we love it. It's fun to us. We are both cut from the same cloth, apparently.

Oh and the messy bed? Like I said, we are not tidy sleepers. It is hard keeping those 2 extra blankets on the bed, not to mention the extra pillow he took from the lobby.

So there you have it. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Church Today

A thought provoking speaker today. Edd Kennington. He talked about how we don't usually understand God's ways. His ways are not our ways. He said, "We only have a smattering of ideas" but we need to listen to the Spirit and follow the guidance of our Father in Heaven. To "keep listening to the Spirit."

Interestingly when we were all singing the opening song, Hymn #100 "Nearer My God, to Thee," Merrily, our chorister had kept on leading even after the 3 verses were over. People were closing their books, yet the song kept going on as she had us sing verses 4 and 5 at the bottom of the page.

So of course we were scrambling to open our hymn books back up so we could keep singing.

Brother Kennington ended his talk with, "Don't close the book before the song is over." To me, that means don't pass judgment on your trials before they are over.

Made me think back to trials I have had in my life. Some made absolutely NO SENSE at the time. I could see no good coming from them, and they seemed useless. Many years later, yes, I do have a different perspective. I still don't understand them, but at least now, I can grasp some things that I have learned from them. I also came to the conclusion years ago that it's the trials, the very hard times, the ones that go on and on and on, that have actually changed some of my thinking, that have given me perhaps character attributes that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I also sat there today thinking of a quote I recently heard, and I don't even know who said it:
"I've had a wonderful life. I only wish I had realized it sooner."

The days go by, we actually lose them as they pass. Then the years fly by. Den and I were remarking yesterday on our way to our hotel adventure, as we passed by the high school. I could almost "see" McKay and Tyler walking home from school, or us picking them up after a play practice, even though they graduated from there in 2002 and 2004. Dennis helped me raise those last 2 sons being they were just 13 and 14 when we got married. We both have very fond memories of their high school/teenage years, and I said, "Didn't those years just all fly by like this?" and I snapped my fingers. Poof, they were gone.

That's how life seems to be. We are all here for just a very brief moment in time. We are here to learn, to progress, to become more like our Father in Heaven. I had never heard the analogy until today of "don't close the book till the song is finished". God sees the end from the beginning. We can only see the road we are on at the moment. To me, that's where faith comes in. A fragile concept, to be sure.

After Sacrament meeting was over, I went up to thank Brother Kennington for his talk. I told him how meaningful it was to me. He said I would love the book he just read titled, "The Lord's Way" by Dallin Oaks. I will try to order that tomorrow.

I keep thinking of Brother Kennington's words today, "we only have a smattering of ideas."

On a shelf next to this desk that I am sitting at now, is a framed scripture given to me by a very close friend of mine.
Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A bed away from home

So we had about decided to purchase a Marriott bed. After calling their website we discovered the beds we usually sleep on at the Marriott are NOT the beds they sell. Only certain selected hotels have the beds they actually sell. So where might those hotels be?? The lady I spoke with said the Courtyard, just 8 miles from our house, does indeed have the bed we are interested in.

So last night, guess where we slept? Just 8 miles from our home. It was more like an extended date night. It's an odd feeling sleeping in a hotel in your own town. Shortly after we woke up we took a walk outside and it felt so "homey". Kind of forces us to view our town from a different angle. And Dennis is always lots of fun in a hotel room.

On our way there we discovered that my son Logan and his wife Amy were hungry so decided to come eat dinner with us. They met us at Black Angus, after we checked in to our hotel.

I asked Amy to stand up so we could see how much the twins have grown.
They said her flat tummy just popped out about 2 days ago.
She is 8 weeks and 5 days.

I told them no whispering at the table.
No, I really didn't say that.
They can whisper all the want.
They are so cute.

They were having a moment.

Happy Dennis, as always.

Oh, and the bed? Well it was just not as comfortable as the other beds we have slept in at their other Marriotts. One other option...Marriott also sells the same beds that are exclusively in their Renaissance Hotels. They only cost $50. more than the regular Marriott beds. I have never stayed in a Renaissance. I would love to hear about their beds from anyone who has stayed there.
Have you?

I meant to take a picture of the bed BEFORE we slept in it, but I forgot.
Sorry, but we are not very tidy sleepers.
We did some fun shopping this morning, made a really fast run to Whole Foods, and then, of course, got home in time for the noon game of BYU football.

Dennis likes to watch the game off his computer and the TV at the same time.
I don't understand why he would want to keep track of 2 screens at once, but he does.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boys will be boys

McKay and Tyler seem to get more mature with each passing video.
Just kidding, well sort of.
(I love you guys!!!)

(Their roommate is the one recovering from the nose surgery.
Perhaps they are still trying to cheer him up?)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On the top of the hill

Who in this picture looks like they are having the best time at my 8 year old birthday party?
The second one from the left on the front row, and she is my little sister Robin.

Notice that Robin is the only one with a party favor.
Already snacking on those jelly beans.
My birthday parties were always in April and it was always an Easter theme.

Here I am holding Robin at only 6 weeks old.

It's Robin's birthday today! I won't say her age, but it ends with a "0" and it is an important number. Kind of the age, that makes one feel they have reached the top of the hill and can see both sides now.

I have memories of Robin when she was 2 or 3 and she would wear these big white shoes. She was always on the run and into everything, especially if it was happening out of doors. I have this one very distinct memory of her lying on the floor with those big white shoes, watching television. Only they were not all that white, they were very banged up and very dirty, and her socks were nearly black. I truly do remember as I looked down on her and all her dirt (I was on the couch, she was on the floor) thinking to myself, "She will never amount to anything when she is older."

Of course I was all of 7 or 8 years old myself.

Here we are in our 60s dresses.
I'm holding newborn Peggy.

Robin was one wild child.
When she was about 2 years old she disappeared. We all, including several neighbors, were looking for her everywhere. I remember the fright, the panic, the worry. I was about 6 years old and in tears. Back then I don't think my parents considered calling the police. Turns out a neighbor near by had gone out and left her door unlocked. Robin helped herself to their house. She went into their bathroom going through all the drawers and and getting into everything. When we found her she was covered with white powder.

Well here we are all these years later and guess what one of her favorite books is?

She even has it displayed in her home.
Being a good wife and mother means everything to her.

Robin is an excellent listener. She is also a deep thinker and will come up with the most insightful concepts. I've had many prayers answered just by talking to her. She has many gifts but this is my favorite.

This is the most recent picture I have of my sister and her whole family. It was taken in 2001.

My mother however, claimed this was her most favorite picture ever:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Necessity, the Mother of Invention

All the cousins who are attending BYU from our family get together about once a month for dinner on a Sunday evening. They all have food assignments. This semester the group is small....just my 2 youngest sons, McKay and Tyler, and their cousin Ashley. The rest of the cousins have graduated, or gotten married, or are onto other adventures.

So last Sunday night Tyler and his girlfriend, Karen, made what I heard was a most wonderful pizza out of salmon, spinach, and I don't know what else. Ashley made a fruit salad. McKay suddenly remembered on Sunday morning I guess it was, that he was suppose to bring the dessert. Not wanting to go to the store, being it was Sunday and all....he made do with what he had.

He made Q-tip Popsicles.
Out of Koolaid frozen with a Q-tip swab as the stick.
Not sure he thought through the cotton part.
I actually found this out from my sister Robin, who heard it from her daughter Ashley.

Odd that McKay did not mention this fine dessert when I talked to him Sunday night.

So I called him last night to ask about it. I said I need a picture of his dessert for my blog...did he take pictures??
He said, oh, no, sorry Mom.
Well, do you have any left?
He sure did, in the freezer.
Then he had to leave this conversation as he had a racket ball date.

So I then called Tyler, and he found McKay's camera on the table although it was missing one battery. Good thing he found a battery in the TV remote. He said he took the picture but I'm not sure when he will have time to download it. They said it looked like a block of ice with some colored sticky stuff on the bottom of it, with the Q-tip poking out at the end.

I did, however, find a new picture of McKay (on the right).
Not sure who the other guy is.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bed Issues

Do you like your bed?
If so, would you leave me a comment and let me know what brand it is?

We have had bed struggles all my adult life. Never have I found one that is still comfortable a year after we purchase it. A few bed sales people have even welcomed us to take a nap on one of their beds, right there in the store. I could do that but Dennis could not, so we don't.

How else can we know if the bed will feel good to sleep in all night long?

One bed that does appeal to me is the Sleep Number Bed...or what ever you call it. I hear you can make it softer or harder, by pressing a number. I don't like the idea, however, of sleeping on something that is plugged in. That is the reason we don't have an electric blanket either, as much as I would love one.

Last week I learned that Marriott has had so many people ask about their beds, that they have begun selling them! We do love Marriott beds. We do sleep well on them. I had asked a few years ago, but I was told their beds are made just for their hotels, and can't be bought anywhere. Apparently this has changed, and I'm excited. I think we will take one more trip to a Marriott hotel before we buy the bed...unless any of you have a better idea.

And also, if you have slept on a Marriott bed, did you like it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike, and Keith

Dennis' youngest son, Keith, lives in Houston with his wife, Gioconda. They did not have forced evacuations there so they decided to ride it out. Take a look at back side of his house the night before the storm, with the windows all boarded up.
Then the next morning, what a different story. The eye of the storm hit them about 3am Saturday morning.

Even their meter was pulled out. Guess it doesn't matter this week since they have been without power since Friday night about 10pm. The next morning Keith and Gioconda drove around to look at the neighborhood. He said it looked like a ghost town and a war zone, combined. The gas stations were closed with signs that said the pumps were empty. Basically everything is closed.

My niece Carly who now lives in Panama with her husband and 3 small children, wrote the following on her blog Friday evening:

"Our boat is still there in Clear Lake right off the Galveston Bay, but what about all our friends in the area? Have they all made it out to safety? Will their homes survive? What will happen to that community we called home for 4 years? Please pray for the victims of this hurricane, for their homes and jobs and safety."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

For the Hailey lovers.

I have the Fresno State Bulldogs to thank. Because of their game, we got an overnight visit with Hailey, her dad Jason, and her Uncle Jordan. One call to her second cousin Elora (my granddaughter), and we soon had the girls together for a night of fun.
This video is for Chickie and Papa, Hailey's grandparents in Utah who are suffering major Hailey withdrawals. Thankfully they will get to see her in 2 weeks, but 2 weeks more of withdrawal is not easy.
Brock is asking the questions.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Happy Surprise

I found out some news on Thursday that made me so happy I had a dream about it that night.
I'll try to explain.

Back in 1995-96 when I was Laurel Advisor in our ward, I had a great group of girls.

Okay, notice the 4th girl from the left on the back row? That is Natalie Moline.

She got married to Luke Jenne back in 2002.
and I think they have pretty much lived in Utah ever since then.

Natalie and Luke suffered through 6 years of infertility, and all the emotions that go with that. Only someone who has suffered similarly would be able to understand completely the overwhelming pain and heart ache, I'm sure.

Imagine my delight when I learned that just this past April they adopted a precious beautiful little baby and named her Whitney Kate!

No, it doesn't stop there.

So yesterday on Natalie's blog,
as soon as I opened it up,
this is what I saw:

I just sat there in shock. Natalie is PREGNANT and due in March!!!!
The babies will be just 11 months apart.

Now I want to say a few words about Natalie. She was always doing acts of service for me. The day my oldest son left on his mission, she, along with my other Laurels, organized, cooked and put together a wonderful dinner for us in our home.

When my husband died 10 months later, she did so many things for me I can't even count them all. A few that very much stand out in my mind.... Tyler, my youngest and just 10 at the time, was having a particularly difficult time, understandably. One day she just showed up and helped Tyler make a "memory box" of his father. She brought all the supplies and showed him how to decorate it. After that was completed Tyler put some precious memories of his dad in that box, and they are still in there to this day....including his wallet, watch, his chapstick, etc.

One morning she and her Mom called and told me to look on our porch. There was breakfast for all of us....all kinds of cereal, juice, rolls, etc. During such a difficult time, we were all so excited about that food!

I won't even get into all the sweet little things Natalie made for me, most of which I still have. Is it any wonder that I love her? Is it any wonder that I am so happy for her and all that she is being blessed with!