Saturday, December 29, 2007

Unfortunately, Bailey threw up a little on the way over to the park. Thank goodness we put a blanket under her! She's only been in the van twice, and both times she threw up. She takes after her "mommy," having motion sickness. But once we got there she had fun, and decided to pose with her big sister Tierra!

The boys had fun playing football, and there were 3 others besides Ryan, Matt and Jason that played.

Bailey at the Park

The girls talked me into taking Bailey (our dog) to the picnic at Fox Lake Park today. This is Pepe', Raquel's brother and his baby with Alisha and Bailey, and a snippet of Tierra. Bailey had fun!

Picnic at the Park

We had a picnic for Ryan at Fox Lake Park today, with all of Raquel's family coming over. Her dad arrived back from Peru just yesterday, so it was nice for him to be there. Matt and Raquel were in charge of grilling the meat.

We found out Christmas Eve that Matt and Raquel are going to have a baby! She'll be going to the doctor this coming week to get the official due date. I'm not exactly sure that I'm excited to be old enough to be a grandma, but am very excited to have a grandbaby. (Oh, and by the way, I'm guessing it's a boy.)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rewards for going to conference

I told the kids that if they went to both session of general conference on Sunday and took notes I'd take them out to dinner. So, the girls and I went to Denny's after the second session. When it came time for the check to come, the waitress came over and said a gentlemen has paid for our dinner. I couldn't believe it! She said he eats there every couple of weeks, and he picks out a random person and pays for their dinner. That night we were the beneficiaries of his kindness. See, there truly are blessings for attending conference!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mission - Possible!

After 20 years of fretting, scolding, hoping, praying, worrying, more praying, more worrying, Ryan received his mission call! I was hoping the call would come on his 20th birthday, Friday, Oct. 5, and thought what a great birthday present for him. Even greater would be the fact that we threw him a surprise birthday party at Matt's, and I thought it would be super great for him to be able to open it when everyone was together.

It came! I wrapped it up in a big box, and put it with the other presents he'd open that night. He was very surprised when he opened the box and saw it. He was a little scared to open it, and we were all sitting on pins and needles as he read it and finally got to the word "Brazil." He enters the MTC in Sao Paulo Jan 23. I'm disappointed I won't get to see him off at the MTC in Provo, but thrilled that he made the decision to serve a mission. He was hoping to go to South America, and he is very excited.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Oh the pain!

I've discovered that just thinking about exercising isn't the same as actually doing it. I have done no exercising of any kind (other than walking a tiny bit for one day here or there) for several years. I am constantly aware that I need to, because I feel so stiff and have no endurance or energy.

As we were sitting around a table having dinner Saturday night at the Stake Center for the RS broadcast, a lady int he ward was telling us that the Fitness Center is sponsoring a 5K walk/run. So, several of us said we'd do it. Now I'm committed! I have to get out and start walking! Like it or not, I know it's good for me, and I'm looking forward to becoming stronger and more limber. I am not looking forward to being the very last person to cross the finish line! The 5K is only a month away, so not much time to make great strides in improvement. But, I'm looking at this as a preparation for other 5K runs. Right now I can't run more than about 100 feet - if that far - at once. My goal is to actually run an entire 5K.

Hmm, should I really put that goal in print?! Don't know how long it will take, but my goal is to do at least some walking every day. Tierra would love for me to go ride bikes with her, so maybe I could throw that in every now and then also.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Forest Gump thinks the world is like a box of chocolates. I say it's like a circle, or at least it's a much "kinder, gentler" place as a circle.

I've discovered I not only get nauseous when I ride in planes and back seats in cars, I also get queasy when I listen to books on tape with earphones! Darn, it was really hoping to listen to some books while I'm out walking (which I actually haven't done in a long, long while, but am trying to start to do again.) Anyway, I did manage to listen to the beginning of "The 7 Habits" book before I felt like puking. I managed to get through the part about "interdependence."

I've thought a lot about that word and what it means. Hopefully we grow through dependence to independence to interdependence. I don't know if this is exactly what Stephen Covey had in mind, but saw a little of it in action today.

Tierra and a friend of hers from church decided they want to play a violin duet at the Primary Talent Show in December. They need help. One of the Primary teachers plays violin, and when she saw both of the little girls at the church during choir practice, and realized they were working on a song, she offered to go help them for a few minutes. She also offered to help them as much as is needed until the performance. Her talent and help is freely given.

Tierra may or may not do something specifically to help or serve this lady, but she does help play with other ladies children during choir, thus rendering service to someone.

I don't believe our service needs to only be directed back at the person who first rendered it to us in order for the circle to be completed. Simply "passing it forward" in whatever form, and to whomever requires the service is all that is needed. In fact, sometimes performing an act of service anonymously brings greater personal satisfaction. I believe that the more we serve the more we become more connected through service, and we have more of a stake in reaching out because in doing so hands will be reached out to us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Matt and Raquel

This is a picture of Matt and Raquel at their ward party. Raquel is working one full-time, and a part-time job so Matt can focus on school this semester. He's hoping to get an internship with the FBI in Washington D.C. next summer. I'm hoping he gets it so we can go and visit him, and see some of the cool sites D.C. has to offer! We love Raquel and her family, and I love having them close enough to see often. Ryan actually sees them the most, as he spends a couple nights a week with them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

International Night

What do you get when you put hundreds of people from matt's ward in one cultural hall? A great time! Matt invited us over Saturday night for his ward's annual International Night. Groups from the different central and South American countries put together displays and finger foods from their countries, and came up with some kind of talent, mostly dancing. There were about 15 countries, and can those people dance! I was very impressed with the number of young children and youth that participated. I don't think you'd find that anywhere other than a Spanish ward. Some of the costumes were very detailed and beautiful. The man at the front of this pictures is Raquel's brother Miguel.

Matt and another couple of people were in charge of the "American" table, so Matt asked that I bring over anything patriotic I had. Since that's the theme of my living room I found quite a bit to take over. Hot dogs seem to be as American as baseball, but didn't want to spend that much money making 200 hot dogs, so took over a crock pot full of little smokies in b-b-q sauce.

Ryan had his final interview with the Stake President Sunday morning, so hopefully he filled out his part online and actually pressed the "send" button. Everything is done online now, so we're crossing our fingers that he'll have his call within a few weeks.

Alisha is excited to be playing the piano for her school's jazz band! She's actually sitting down to practice the songs on her own!! I think this will really help her improve much faster than just the regular old piano songs. You have to really "count" and "think" when you're playing jazz.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Whew! We just made it, getting all the food canned at the Bishop's Storehouse Friday night. Thank goodness the girls were with me, and another couple from the ward were just finishing up as I got there so they stayed to help me. Otherwise I'd have to make another trip over in the next week or two to get it all done. They did everything except run the canner. They learned how to tape up the boxes, fill the cans, and even loaded all the boxes (15 of them) in the van while I was paying. Tierra especially liked filling the cans. I wasn't sure I wanted her help when we were doing the Moo Milk, but she did great. Alisaha's job was writing the product on the cans - she was quite creative in her doodling!

The man in charge there said they received a letter saying they weren't to allow outside food brought in to can after Sept 1, but he knew about the big Walton order people from central Florida were getting and held off on that directive until the end of the month. Some things, like wheat, it doesn't make money sense to put in gallon cans. Other things, like the Moo Milk and Oatmeal, that it takes us a while to use up makes a lot of sense, especially here in bug country. Now to figure out where to put all these cans. All the kids beds either have drawers or bins underneath so can't put the stuff under there. I'd like to build some more shelving in the laundry room. Hmmm, maybe it's time for dad to come for a visit?!


Thursday, September 6, 2007

A canning we will go!

I've been told by a reliable source (our ward food storage chairman) that of the 1,500 or so canneries in the U.S. ours is the only one that allows us to can outside items we've brought in. However, that comes to a screeching halt the end of September. Good thing our big Walton Feed order came in this week! I had to drive to St. Cloud, about an hour away to pick it up, so hopefully next time we can have a big enough order that they'll drive to Titusville to make the drop.

The girls and I will be going to the storehouse Friday after school to can Morning Moo Milk, 7-grain mix, pancake mix, and whatever else I ordered from Walton. Plus, hopefully there will be some dehydrated refried beans on the shelf we can buy, as they will no longer be carrying them. This will be the girls first experience at the cannery, so hopefully they'll have fun doing it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Alisha at Blue Springs on Labor Day

The water was cold, but that didn't keep us all from enjoying the water. We just had to watch out for logs and trees under the water as we floated down the river.

Labor Day at Blue Springs

We spent Labor Day at Blue Springs - it was wonderful! Matt and Raquel came over, and several families from the ward went as well. The water was freezing! But once we caught our breath, and believe me, after jumping in it took a minute or so, it was actually refreshing. There is a long walkway through heavy vegatation that leads to the top of the springs where you can jump in. There's a large swimming hole, and if you're cave certified, you can scuba down quite a ways. We took goggles and a snorkle, and it took me a while to get used to not breathing through my nose. I'm claustrophobic, and it took a few minutes to get the hang of breathing through my mouth only. Matt and Lynn rented canoes and took the kids out in another area and they all saw alligators and manatees.

The Bishop's family went, and her daughter that is just younger than Tierra rode with us. Three little girls sitting in the back seat means lots of laughing! After we got back Beckie (Bishop's wife) invited us over to their house for dinner (yummy Indian fry bread) with the missionaries. One of the Elders father has a slaughtering business in American Fork, so we heard lots of stories about animals being slaughtering!

I'm off now to run to pick up a large food storage order from Walton Feed, that's coming to our Stake Center.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Ready, set, mission!

Finally, after numerous visits and even more numerous dollars, Ryan's dental work is complete! He's had several fillings, and went today for his second visit to have his crown cemented in. Thankfully it fit perfectly, and he ended up not needing that last filling. Whew! I have to say a big thanks to the boys aunt Michelle who willingly offered to help shell out a couple thousand dollars to help cover the cost.

Now Ryan just needs to see the Stake President and his papers can get sent in. The Stake President isn't known for always being on top of things (I'm not complaining about Tierra not getting baptized for 2 1/2 years here though!), so I'm crossing my fingers that everything will at least be sent in by Ryan's birthday in October.

Everything is done online now, and Ryan finished his part of the online application as soon as he got back from the dentist. He needed to send in a headshot, so I snapped one with my camera. Good thing it was just a head shot because he was wearing his workout shorts, white shirt and tie, and Jason's suit jacket!

Okay, we decided that once his papers got sent in we're all guessing where he'll be going. So while the Texas Thomsons are with the Colorado Thomsons I want each of you to guess where he'll be going and email the list to me. Laurence's, please do the same. We'll be doing it here, and with Raquel's family, since Ryan is now good friends with them all. The person who comes the closest will receive a yet-to-be-decided goody from me!!!

Bloggingly yours,


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's me, but it's not just me!

The photo I've added is me with all the kids at Matthew and Raquel's wedding March 10 at the Orlando temple. From left is Evan and his wife Blaire. Tierra is standing in front of me (no, those aren't gray roots peeking through the top of my head, it's just, um, the way the sun is shining on me? Then there's the happy couple, Matt and Raquel, Ryan, Jason and Alisha. It was a beautiful wedding, beautiful weather and best of all, the reception was at a Country Club so there was no setting up or cleaning up!

First post

What are you supposed to do when you fall off a horse? Get back on of course! What does falling off a horse have to do with starting my own blog? Everything. For me, both are about getting out of my comfort zone, doing something that's challenging.

Not being a techno geek I thought the best way to "get on the techno horse" would be to dive right in, start my own blog, learn how to upload my pictures, learn how to get subscribers, and make myself ride that "writing horse" on a consistent basis.

I'm sure the journey will be exciting as I see where the wild ride takes us!

Bloggingly yours,