Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Week, New Me.


Here I sit on New Year's Eve. But then I usually sit on New Year's Eve. I think I will reflect. No, takes too much time. Guess I will just get up and move forward.

Many people do not like Mondays. I do. I love Mondays because you get to start all over again. I like new years too. Despite what transpired over the last year - you can start all over again. My only disappointment is that others do not see it like me. They don't try to do better, they stay in their prideful rut.

I love that I can make a new me too. It is like a new year or a new week. It is the process of repentance. Sure there is pain and shame in realizing the stupidity of choices you made, but if you truly understand and believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ the new and improved you can reappear. And this I am grateful for, because I need to repent and repair myself each day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peanut Gallery

My daughters went to see New Moon recently, at a special viewing. Their seats were in the first two rows – yep they had a crick in their neck afterwards! Anyway – my daughter was sharing how some of the viewers were making wise cracks about the movie, like "Quick, hit me over the head!" Now if you were there and heard the whole story you would be on the ground laughing, but I cannot give it justice. Then my daughter commented that is seemed like the first two rows were the peanut gallery. So that word has been on my mind lately.

Then it came to me – that is what I do. And I have been catching myself doing it! Case in point: While sitting in my class at school a word problem is displayed on the screen about the statistics of whether college freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors kiss on the first date. The data showed that seniors were more apt to kiss on the first date than freshman. I could't keep my mouth shut and blurted out, "Well of course they do! Time is running out for them! They have to kiss them to see if there is any chemistry – and if not – move on to the next one." Of course I don't think about what I have said – I just say it. I didn't think it was funny, but the class did.

I have gotten in trouble because of my outbursts. I wonder if I will ever learn.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1st Grade and Beyond!

Tonight my grandson called me because he had to do a report on a relative about their experiences in 1st grade. His mother told me that her children like to call me because I always give them good stuff! She was probably being kind with that statement.

The thing is, I remember a lot about my elementary school days, but 2nd grade is a bit of a blur. I think it is because my mom made me go see Theda, to have my hair permed. My curls were so tight – and UGLY! I hated it and tried so hard to comb out my hair for school pictures. It is OK if your curls are natural – but to cause your hair to be unnatural is just wrong. As you can see, 1st grade was just fine, don't have my 2nd grade photo scanned - then 3rd grade came along, and it was a little more tamed down.

My daughter was surprised that the elementary school I attended had about 800 students! K-8, with 5 classes in each grade of 30+ kids – yep – it was that big. It was a great school, with lots of happy memories and of course a few not so pleasant! We had quite the diversity then; Mexican descent, Indian descent, African-American descent and Caucasian. I wouldn't be able to tell you what the percentages were because we were all friends! I am sure there was racism, but we never knew it. None of us knew our families were just getting by, because most all were in the same financial situation. There were a few girls that had store bought clothes, but the majority of us had mothers that made all our clothes. The girls wore dresses to school, the boys wore jeans and shirts. Nothing fancy. By the time you were in 5th grade you had PE everyday and had to take showers! But then living in Yuma, AZ and playing outside, a shower was a good thing for stinky kids! I do remember the locker room smelling a little rank some days! We had choir programs and band, home economics, wood shop – but no organized sports. However, my grade had a great girls softball team, I played pitcher or shortstop. It was quite the competition with the older girls – we usually won!

We had an assembly every week, with Mrs. Price leading the singing. We learned so many great songs, of which I can't remember any now! Mrs. Price was a 3rd grade teacher. She was quite flamboyant. I had her for 3rd grade, and for Easter we got to visit her home where she had peacocks roaming the yards. We would try to catch them, but only got a peacock feather for our efforts. I diverged…we also had the best Halloween carnivals in the whole city. The gymnasium was transformed as well as classrooms. The cafeteria served their famous homemade chili. All in all it was a great fund raiser for the school. Then in the spring we would have our annual BBQ event and talent show, where the students had to sell tickets. For several years I was the top girl ticket salesperson! Then for my 8th grade year, Mrs. Price decided she wanted to teach 8th grade. She got to produce a couple of shows, the Christmas program and a musical with the 8th graders. Lucky me, I got leading parts in both shows! But she returned to 3rd grade after that year – it wasn't the same.

Well, I could ramble on about my memories, but I will stop.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I used to love visiting on the phone, that is, before we got rid of the cell phone and installed MagicJack.

I am lucky to speak with one child twice a month – DING – I am never around, nor have a phone for her to call me and chat! I guess I should resort to letters.

But then – do I have time to chat? This semester I don't get home till 7:00 pm and all I do once home is get something to eat and do homework – little time to talk and discuss the world's problems let alone anyone else's problems.

Then we have MagicJack! HATE IT! The connections are terrible. Which week will it be that you have to reinstall all the upgrades? Others talking to you only hear static, and cutting out of your voice. You are lucky if you get a voicemail within 24 hours of it being recorded – so you miss messages – that sometimes are important.

Results – no one calls me. I think I am forgetting how to speak to others. Messages through email are great – it helps me keep in touch – but only for those who read their emails.

I think it is time to get another cell phone. I miss visiting with my friends and family.

Ring, Ring, Click - Ya wanna talk?

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Baby is Married!

So here she is with her new husband, Garrett. He is great, and we are happy he is a part of our family.

A quiet moment.

Dang it - they all have to be goofy! Are they ever serious?

More pictures later....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Decorative Art Form

During the time K&G got married--we had lots of people congregating at our home. Rather than use plastic throw-away cups, we all seemed to have our own. This is where they all liked to congregate.

There is an anaolgy to life - we are all different; we all congregate around a light source and we all drink from the same living water...OK...I know this is a stretch, but we had to capture the cups in the window - it was funny at the time!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thought I Knew what I was doing - Ha!

I have been going to school for the past year with plans to major in Public Relations. I applied for the major a few weeks ago. Sad to say, I did not make it in. I really thought I had a chance. But as the day goes by, I have plan B and plan C. So it is on to plan B - FACS major - Family and Consumer Science Education. But dang - if I just had done that in the beginning, I wouldn't have 47 more credits to finish up with!

But the bright side of this is that when I finish, I will not be using antiquated equipment and technology in my labs - that is if we still have public schools.


So we have a neighbor that moved, leaving behind two apple trees. No one was picking those yellow and red deliciousness. So we went and picked apples yesterday :) We would have picked more - but that would mean I would have to can them or do something with them - and I have little time.

Von picked up an apple peeler from the Mending Shed. This is his new toy! Such a wonderful invention.

Tonight we canned 14 qts. of apple pie filling and made one apple cobbler. Though it is work - I like the results of this type of work. It makes my cupboards look good - and the fruit was free! I like those type of savings.

Here is the recipe if you want to make your own pie filling. My neighbor, Sheri F.,from Carlsbad gave this to me:


4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstartch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Stir together in large pot. Add 1 tsp. salt, then add 10 cups of water. Heat till bubbly and thickened. Add 3 TBSP. lemon juice and 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring and stir to mix.

5 1/2 to 6 lbs. of cored, peeled and sliced apples

Pack sterilized jars with apple slices. Pour syrup over apples, being sure to adjust for air pockets (meaning you need to eliminate them!). Leave 1" head space in top of jar. Wipe down jar and lip of jar. Put on heated canning lid and ring. Process jars in boiling water bath. Quart - 20 minutes; Pint - 15 minutes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Middle Child!

Today is my first middle child's birthday. I am not going to share how old she is, other than she was born in 1980. Really? That doesn't seem that long ago – only yesterday. I remember the day so well. Living in Mesa, AZ, over-due by a week when the nurse calls to say the doctor had a opening for me to come in and be induced. Later the nurse chastised me because it was Sunday. At that point I didn't care. And then – after being induced - 1st middle child comes flying out. Mind you, the doctor never showed up, they actually had to pull in a doctor walking by to be in attendance! Of all my deliveries – she was my easiest. I will have to admit that I was in "shape" before she came, but then being my second smallest – I am sure that helped too.

This child was easy to love. Every morning she was so bright-eyed and eager to be awake. She always seemed to have a smile on her face. We called her our little squirrel because she was always burrowing into the covers with all her treasures. My neighbor made a quilt for her (which she has to this day), she affectionately called "blankie." Every corner was sniffed before going to sleep. Some corners were her favorites! It was hard to sneak the blanket away to wash, she would throw a fit that the "smells" had disappeared. I don't even want to know what she did to establish her "smelling" territory again!! She also had a pacifier, "binkie," that had a squeaky bulb on the end. She was quite attached to it, and her sisters liked to tease her by squeaking it often. I loved it because I always knew where she was. Her favorite book was about Care Bears. She had the book memorized

This child was one of my smallest – and still is. She was sick quite a bit with ear infections, which led to other health challenges as a child. Thank goodness she outgrew all those discomforts. She also had to wear corrective shoes – which did their job. However, if you were holding her and she decided to kick – watch out! Those shoes were hard and they hurt. She literally slept with her boots on!

One of the things that I loved about this child was that she LOVED baby dolls and Barbies. Her older sisters could care less, so it was nice to know that finally I had a daughter that loved the things I loved as a child. She also had "best friends," something that seemed to elude my other children. I wouldn't say any of my children were "Drama Queens," but I would venture to say this 1st middle child did have her moments – maybe it was because she was the MIDDLE Child and needed more attention – who knows!

I have never thought any of my children were like me, so one day, to satisfy my curiousity, I asked my sister if any of my children had my temperament. She said my 1st middle child seemed to be more like me. So I have watched her grow up, and I have seen many similarities, one being that I can explain something to her and she can envision what I am trying to say (and I admit there aren't too many that can do this!!!). And we tend to get a little spazzy once in a while! But she is also very much like her father, especially when you start from the feet up (very cute feet I might add!). Then you see she was blessed with my shapely knees and my once good-looking calve muscles J And of course she is like me when it comes to exclamation points!!!

I have truly been blessed with children that are special, and this 1st middle child is no exception. She is resourceful; she is creative; I think she is a great wife and mother; she has a happy countenance; she wants to be of service to others; she has been blessed with many talents, such as creative writing and a desire to learn all the world has to offer. She also has several musical gifts. She has the ability to remember all the words to songs and she loves arpeggio's – meaning piano pieces that go fast! When she has an idea in her brain – she is ready to go – she is moving fast! Her thoughts and actions are geared to moving forward, ever learning, ever improving.

What wish would I give to her on this her birth-day? Be patient, be faithful, be prayerful, and be believing that someone mightier than you is mindful of your every need. You are a wonderful daughter, valiant and good. Your father and I are very pleased with who you are and who you are becoming.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It is Coming!!!

The other day, K&G come to the house announcing that they just saw some signs posted for an In-and-Out Burger. I had to see it for myself! It is real - it is being built. A good hamburger is coming and only a few blocks from where we live. Can life get much sweeter than this?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Many know that I love rocks. I would have quite a collection if they weren't so heavy! My shoebox weighs about 8 lbs – with my iron ore chunk making the box lopsided. So why am I writing about rocks? Well to be honest, I failed in writing about our anniversary this past week. Von and I celebrated our 34th Anniversary—and Opals are supposed to be what you give each other.

To honor this mileSTONE—I thought I would use the characteristics of opals to describe our lives, personalities or whatever I can come up with and make it work – something like the way I play Scrabble!!!

Opal variations are practically unlimitedexample would be the children we produced – they are as varied and as different as can be.

They all show in their own special way that unique play of colors
– I would like to think we are a colorful couple—meaning we are unique, and our red personalities don't show up to often!

The name Opal was probably derived from Sanskrit "upala", meaning "valuable stone"—I consider our marriage a valuable relationship, worth working and refining.

In the days of Roman antiquity there existed a so-called "opalus", or a "stone from several elements"—yep, that describes our relationship—there are several elements that keep us together-love of the Lord, covenants, family, faith, determination—OK—this list can go on for a long time. You get the picture!

Pliny, the famous Roman author, called Opal a gemstone which combines the best possible characteristics of the most beautiful of gemstones—I feel that the characteristics and strengths we have brought to our marriage, those developed over the years and those learned from our parents, children and others continues to make our marriage the best possible.

The small spheres of silica gel causes interference and refraction, dissecting the light on its passage through the gemstone, turning into all colors of the rainbow—I guess that is my hope and prayer that as our relationship continues to develop and mature, that we are able to "interfere and refract" with one another so that our light will continue to radiate, sparkling together in beautiful combinations.

Even though we have had our share of "rocky" trials and obstacles, my husband has always been my rock, my foundation that I rely on. I love you Honey B.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No Sleep = Haggard Looks

I received my new orthodontic appliance first part of June. I was imagining it would be something different. I finally got up the courage to start wearing it last week, knowing full well that my mouth was going to hurt. Within a few days, my teeth are where they should be, and I am grateful. The bite is right, the gaps between my teeth are closing up. However, I haven't slept well wearing it to bed. I am sure wearing it during the day would be better, but I have to talk - I have important things to say to people...

The bags have reappeared under my eyes. I really want to sleep, but I don't because my "appliance" doesn't allow me to. I wish there was a solution to my dilemma. Here it is 1 am, and the thought of going to bed keeps me awake. I will get through this - this isn't hard, just not easy. Wish my lack of sleep wouldn't show up on my face!!!

I tell myself that having straight teeth has been worth the pain and inconvience - and truly - I do feel this way, and I am very grateful. Just let me sleep!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Busy!

The month of May is about to end. What a month this has been. The first two weeks I was in SoCal helping Ann-Marie and her family. Yes, I was tired every night and hit the pillow snoring - but it was good. Being a mom and caring for a family is my most favorite job, even when children have temporary attitudes! They always make up for it with the funny things they do and say.

I was grateful that I was able to be there for Ann-Marie and Collins. I tried to be the Mama Bear and protect my child - but her Sugar Daddy was always there to take care of her, and that is the way it should be - depending upon one another in times of need and times of joy.

Julianne and I were able to overlap our stay a few days before I went home to Utah. I felt confident in Julianne's ability to care for her sister and the children. One day, Julianne is going to be an incredible mom. But then she has lots of great examples - her sisters!

I had a few changes while in CA - Collins took my braces off - yea!!! And I got a new color and do'. Thank you Collins and Julianne!

When I got home, Honey Buns had the house spiffed up and shining! He was sick the whole time I was gone with a nasty cold. I hope he was happy to have me home! I think the house being cleaned was his way of saying "Welcome Home!"

Loralee and the girls got in the next night. That was so fun to have them here. Always so many things we want to do and never enough time. Then Dr. Dave, oops, Dr. Love drove in on Wednesday afternoon! His girls were happy to see their daddy again.

I had a RS cooking class which Loralee and Kimmy helped me with. Mexican food - yumm - cilantro, cilantro and other good stuff! Then I had a Stake Primary leadership meeting. What a busy week.

Adrienne and her family drove in Sunday afternoon. More kids, more late nights and more babies to love! So within a week - I have been with all my girls - and this weekend get to see my boy.

The month has passed by quickly. So many changes in each of our lives - hopefully making us more appreciative of each other and what we go through. I will have seen almost all my grandchildren and children this month - what a treat that has been. They keep me centered. Von and I have truly been blessed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


All right - it has been a few years since I had to wrestle with an alligator - oops - I mean a 3-year-old. I have been hanging out here in SoCal this week - being a mom to 4 boys. Yes, it has been awhile.

Let's see, boys are distracted easily, stinky, rough and tumbly. And when you think you will never get through, they suprise you with a tender sweet disposition. My boys are wonderful - I have 8 that I call mine, and then I have 4 SIL - which I will claim in a heartbeat if they will let me! So that is a total of 12 men in my life. I am pretty lucky.

I used to call about 10 other boys mine many years ago - but they all grew up and forgot how much I loved them, played with them, cared for them and prayed for them. Those were some of my nephews. I wish they could remember and understand how much my heart breaks when I see choices they make and how much my heart soars as I watch them progress in life. You never stop loving them, you just learn to refocus your love and attention to those who surround you.

Never did I imagine that my lot in life would be 5 daughters. I thought I would have boys - lots of them since I seemed to be surrounded by nephews - big ones, stinky ones, ones that teased unmercifully. But then I loved doing all the boy things - like digging in the dirt, playing ball, experimenting, exploring, discovering what the world was all about. My favorite book was "My Side of the Mountain." It was about a boy who ran away into the woods and survived by creating his own shelter, learned to eat from the land, etc. I would imagine my own world if I was left to my own devices and created in my mind a world that was magical (I still was a girl!).

Do I regret not having all those boys? No. However, I do have one son who loves to experiment, explore and discover what life is about. That really isn't much different than me!

Now I have 6 grandsons that will be experimenting, exploring and hopefully I will be a part of their lives as they discover what life is all about. But in the meantime, I still need to wrestle the alligator.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You're Killing Me Smalz!

Ever have one of those days? I have been having them all week. I even look a little haggard and puffy eyed like my friend here. This past Monday I had to clean the ovens in the food labs where I work. After three hours the fumes (I thought) gave me a migrane headache. Again on Thursday in the labs, I thought the residue of the fumes gave me a migrane. Then today, on my merry way across town - boom - migrane! I rarely have migranes. My daughter thinks they are a rebound migrane from going off some medication. I think I agree. Well, it looks like I may not be ready to go off the medication just yet - I need my wits and energy with me the next two weeks! Drugs, Dr. Pepper - sounds really good about now!

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Girls in yellow dresses with striped colored sashes.."

Here is another dress for Kayte. My other four granddaughters - your turn is coming this summer. I had help on this one. I offered in my sewing class material and patterns if they would make a little girl's dress for me. I had one taker. However I had to add the embelishments this afternoon - sash and buttons. It is adorable and Kayte will look great in it. Just hope it fits. Making clothes for someone not present is sometimes difficult!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Everyone is a Homemaker - even men

Sunday our Bishop spoke on the importance of learning skills that will help you during times of economic downturns, such as learning how to cook, how to sew, how to garden, how to budget, etc. He had felt impressed for a few months to speak on that subject, especially when we have a ward with 50 percent young marrieds. I couldn't have felt more inspired by his comments, that I too have felt that our young people have missed so much in the art of "building" a home with skills you have learned and mastered.

Well tonight that truth was very evident. After my "Cooking with Kids" class, a young married woman came up to me and said, "I don't know how to cook, I don't know how to plan a meal, and I know I can't do this the rest of my life. Please help me."

Help is on the way! I gave her a few things she and her husband will need to do, and then we would meet this next week and plan a menu (yes I know - Ann doesn't plan a menu, she just decides 5 mintues before!). I can plan, I just choose not to :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And the School Year is over!

Finished my last final today. Got a 94% on my final project for sewing - the little girl's dress. She didn't rip it, just percentages of this and that off. It is all good! Hopefully I did well on the written final.

Now WHAT? Relief is the first thing I feel! And now on to some new projects before I head to sweet California......

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cooking with the Kidlettes

In about a 10 days I am having another cooking class. I am trying to figure out which kids in our ward to invite to help. This time around I will have to be selective as we have a sister with children that I want to staple gun to the floor - thus I don't want an open invitation. Is that horrible of me?

And speaking of cooking...yesterday in the food labs, the students were making their magnificent meals (don't ask!). They had quite a bit leftover so the students were sharing with the TA's and instructors. Either I have funky tastebuds, or my cooking tastes a whole lot better.

New Creations

Tonight I finished Kayte's dress that I have been making for my sewing class. Adrienne and Ted choose the fabric, I choose the pattern. It has turned out really cute. Unfortunately she won't have it for Easter, nor next Sunday for church, as it has to be graded. Of course I think I did a terrific job on it, but I am sure my professor will find countless errors! I can think of two - if she finds them! The colors are true in the sleeve detail, very chocolate brown and a baby blue.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My GREEN Homeland of Arizona

Have I mentioned that my favorite color is green? Anyway, growing up in Arizona people wonder if anything is green there. They always associate Arizona as a brown desert. That is sad, because Arizona has lots of green things, even in the summer - which to me can be the greenest when all the trees have their leaves. Our yard growing up was always green because of all the fruit trees and the grass, which was usually a foot tall before I got to the last section to mow! It was a jungle.

Anyway, this past weekend Von and I traveled to Arizona for our granddaughter's, baptism. A quick, but special occasion for going. The thought of getting some wonderful sunshine and warmer temperatures was going to be a treat along with seeing our children!

It was a scenic drive as we drove through the Grand Canyons, the pines of Flagstaff and then the high desert of cactus, palo verde and mesquite trees. Unfortunately the wild flowers were not blooming.

Most of the trip I was reading and would look up occasionaly to see what we were passing by. It was during one of these moments as we were about to turn onto I-10 that I looked up to see multiple fields of green alfalfa.

I started to cry. To see that lush green field of sweet alfalfa made me so homesick and long for a big bear hug from my father. You see, my father was a farmer, but he also was a teacher. Whenever we were with daddy, he would stop and teach us about what was growing in the fields that we passed. It became a game to guess what the crop was. But of all the crops, alfalfa was my favorite, especially just after being cut. The smell would linger for many days, it was sweet and refreshing.

I didn't have my camera with me, but here is a picture of an alfalfa field, but not as green as the ones I saw.

Here is a picture of my father with four of his six brothers. My father is the one in the middle. This past week his youngest brother, Mel, and his oldest sister, Thelma, passed away. Mel was 88 and Thelma was 100 years old. I think my dad's family has had a beautiful reunion this week. Maybe when I saw that green alfalfa field, it reminded me of my family's farming legacy. They were all tillers of the land and took great pride in working the earth and helping create life with God's bounty. I am blessed.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Birthday Tulips!

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am still over the age of 50, darn, and the numbers keep increasing!

Anyway, after grocery shopping this afternoon, I walked into the kitchen to see some beautiful tulips! They are light orange with shades of yellow in them. I wish I had a better vase, but this will have to do. Aren't they lovely?

I had been thinking about the individuals that gave them to me all day, so when I opened up the card to discover who had sent them, I cried. I want you to know how much I love you.

I received some other gifts this week too, again, not expected, and so generous. I am loved by such wonderful family and friends, I truly am blessed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I am taking a sewing class because...?

I wanted a job on campus as a TA - so to get the job I had to take Intermediate Sewing 287. Fortunately the professor saw my work and gave me a pass on the beginning sewing class. Two things about this class, I enjoy sewing around other people! I like socializing when I am sewing. And the only new thing I will learn in this class is a differnt way to alter patterns, which has been great!

I finished up our first project - a HOODIE! Normally I do not sew for myself, but I decided to make myself something! I don't think anyone in the school has this color of sweatshirt fleece,cha-ching! I decided to line the hood and use the same fabric for a facing. Of course I see all the imperfections in the hoodie/jacket. Who knows - I might even wear it! Our instructor is very adamant about making clothing items that DO NOT look homemade. Do you think it passes?

Tomorrow we start on a man's shirt - but instead, I am making myself a tailored PINK shirt. Von didn't want me to make him one, which I am OK with. Anyway, maybe with all this altering I am doing I will end up with some patterns that fit and I can finally sew for myself!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Class Update

Lets see, 24 women signed up and 11 ended up coming. That was OK by me! Even 5 or 6 would have been perfect! Next month it will be a "Cooking with Children" class. I think I will handpick 3 children in the ward to participate.

If you want recipes Cami, I will email them to you. I just need your email address.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tomorrow I am teaching a cooking class in my ward. "Dinner for 2, or Dining Alone." It is geared for cooking in smaller quantities. Lots of women signed up - we shall see how many show up!

Our ward has lots of young married couples and single women. Their concerns are time, budget and healthy foods. I will post on whether it was a successful evening!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today was a good day for our family. We need those once in a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This past Sunday we had our last ward conference. We visited our Spanish Ward. They have the smallest Primary in the stake. I had the privilege of speaking to the children. It was such a treat to share with them a message and my testimony, but more importantly, it was a testimony to me to feel their love and excitement for Primary! These children were beautiful. Every one of the boys were either in a suit and tie or a white shirt and tie! And the girls were dressed in their Sunday best.

But the best part of our visit was singing time! They learn all the songs in Spanish. Their chorister knows the songs and teaches with such great enthusiasm - it was contagious! And the children's voices - oh how sweet and joyful. Even though their numbers are small, their voices were anything but small! If we could only capture that moment and share it with others - I guarantee you would smile and feel unspeakable joy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


It takes me forever sometimes to craft a proper thank you to friends and family. One of my daughters is sooooo good about expressing and sending thanks.

If I was to recieve this as a gift, I think I just might be able to find the right words!





OK! So this is how this works...the first 5 people to respond to this post will receive something made by me for you.
My choice.
Made especially for you.
Of course there are some restrictions and limitations:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be just for you.
3. It will be done sometime this year.
4. You have no clue what it will be... it may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may draw or paint something. I may bake something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure. ;-)
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? The catch is that you must repost this on your own blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on their blog.

The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!!

Oh! And be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


This purse/tote pattern is from Anna Maria Horner. It is not on the market yet, which saddens me because I need a new bag to carry my books in. Doesn't it look cute? I also like her fabric line.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Von and I met at a Regional San Diego Young Adult Conference in July of 1973. At the time we didn’t think much of each other. I thought, “He just couldn’t be 21 and a returned missionary too!” (He was really cute, but he looked much younger than I, the graduated senior of one month!!) And Von thought I was an obnoxious flirt.

We saw each other occasionally during the year of ’73 at BYU, he even asked me out. But I couldn’t go because of finals, and besides, he was too short.

The next time I saw Von was the following fall semester of ’74. School had started and social life was in full swing. I was talking to a girlfriend when Von came walking up. I did a double take this time! Wow, had he changed. Tan, sun-bleached hair, looking very good in his Mexican embroidered shirt and big bell-bottom pants! My – he sure was cute, and what a flirt! We went out that night. All I remember was that I didn’t get home until 2 AM, and I had forgotten my keys. We must have had a good time.

The next Friday I didn’t have a date. I remembered where Von said his classes were, so I intentionally made myself cross his path that afternoon. Sure enough, I landed a date that evening with Von.

We had a good time, but Von was preoccupied that evening. His brother, Garth, had hurt himself playing basketball and his other brother, Mark, had been in an accident in the mission field. After that night I kept wondering why he hadn’t called back, or the fact that he seemed to disappear (his sister, Sheila’s daughter, Andrea Jane had drowned)

Winter semester had begun and I could tell it was going to be a very dry dating season. And it was becoming even drier because I started turning down dates. I was tired of all the games.

One night I had gone to bed at 8 PM (unusual for me), feeling a bit depressed about men in general, only to be awakened at 9:30 p.m. I had company. I threw some clothes on and went up to see who in the heck would be coming by at that hour!

There was Von, with Pud (Robert Peek) and Kit in tow! Von wanted to know if I’d go with him to a Young Men’s initiation the next evening. I said “Sure, why not?”

We had a terrific time! Then Von asked me out for the following night, but I already had a date for the basketball game.

My date had his uncle’s season tickets for the game at the Marriot Center. When we got there, we started into the row where our seats were, me leading the way. My seat just happened to be next to an old boyfriend! This old boyfriend was one I had been really serious with, then he dumped me! It still hurt 1 ½ yrs. later. So here I was, sitting between one I had pursued and one who was pursuing me! That evening was the most miserable date of my life. I kept using my date’s binoculars watching Von in the Young Men’s section. He sure was having a great time, and I was wishing I was there instead of where I was.

Von called the next day, and I was thrilled. He asked me out for a fireside the following day, Sunday. Then everyday after that he was coming by to see me, or meeting me after a class. After about 3 weeks of this, I was questioning myself about this relationship. I was sick for my birthday, so Von had my roommates make me a cake, and then he told me he had a special evening planned later when I was feeling well.

The next week he took me to see Saturday’s Warrior. When we got back to my apartment and we were alone, I told him I needed to know what was happening between us. I was full of questions, like, “Why was he dating me only? Did he like me?” (I was fishing for a “I love you!!!” line”)

Von then proceeded to tell me about Julie. He was waiting for her to graduate. His intentions were to just date me until she came to the Y. He said he decided to date me because I would be fun to “bide” time with. That hurt! (I later found out from Robert, that the three of them had gotten together earlier that evening and had gone over all the girls Von had dated, and I was the CHOSEN ONE). Being the inquisitive person that I am, I had to know if these were still his intentions, because I wasn’t about to be dumped again. I would be the dumper this time! Von then told me that his feeling for Julie had changed. He said he was “in-like” with me. I could live with that!

Von and I were spending more time with each other, and he kept dropping the “WE” word. I had been praying for an assurance that this relationship was worth pursuing. I felt very good about it, and even asked my parents up for Easter weekend, so they could check Von out. Mom was able to come and spend the weekend with me.

During this time, some young men that I had dated previously started to show up on my doorstep (literally), asking me out. These were guys that I had considered “marriage material” at one time. I had to make a choice, either go out with them and jeopardize my relationship with Von, or just tell them I wasn’t interested. I chose the latter. It wasn’t until after I was married and read my patriarchal blessing did I understand “Find a companion of your choice…” I did make a choice.

General Conference was coming up, and Von told me his parents had changed their minds and were coming after all. The day before they arrived, I had received a letter from Von’s brother, Garth, whom we just took to the mission home the week before. This letter had a lot of insinuations and advice that I felt was inappropriate! After all, we weren’t engaged, nor had we even discussed marriage. This letter really upset me and I wanted to talk to Von about it, but Von just laughed it off and wouldn’t discuss it. I pushed the issue, so Von left. Overwhelmed at what I could be losing if he didn’t come back, I went out looking for him! I had invested too much of my emotions to end this relationship right then. I loved him and knew we were to be together. I spent over an hour looking for him when I remembered his cousins lived around the corner from my apartment. When I got there, Von was there, smiling and then gave me a great big hug. He said “I was wondering how long it would take you to find me!!!” His roommate had told him I was out looking for him. I felt better, but I still felt insecure about what was going to happen.

The next night we picked up Mom and Dad at the airport then dropped them off at Uncle Dee’s home. We all had some birthday cake that I had made for Von. The following morning we met them at Temple Square for Conference. I had never been to General Conference, so this just added to the excitement of anticipation! Von’s parents sure asked a lot of questions, especially Dad!
That evening we went to the Ding Ho restaurant. I was really looking forward to a Chinese meal, especially the shrimp! As the meal began, so did the questions! My appetite soon diminished, these questions were getting very personal. Mom must have sensed my distress because she quickly pointed out to Dad that uncle Ron and aunt Jean were walking in the door.

While introductions were being made, the waitress brought the fortune cookies. I noticed Dad sliding the cookies towards him and then tearing off a piece of his paper placement mat. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. We finished our meal and Dad passed out the fortune cookies. We all took turns reading ours, and then it was Von’s turn. He said he didn’t want to read his. But “NO” would not do, especially for Dad. So Von handed me his fortune. It read, “You will get married this summer to Ann.”

My heart skipped a beat, and I looked up at Von. He said, “Well?”

“Well, what?” I replied

“Do you want to get married?”

Mom was very in tune that day. She suggested that we might like to talk in private. So we left the restaurant and went outside.

And of course my reply was YES!

Later as we were driving home to Provo, Von told me he had planned to ask me that evening on Temple Square (but Dad stole his thunder!). The fact that he loved me enough to want to marry me compensated for Dad speeding things up.

Until we got married, Von and I experienced some adjustments, sometimes making me wonder if I was really making the right choice. But every time I inquired of the Lord during some difficult times, all doubt would go away and my mind would become very clear, that yes, it was the right choice.


I came across some memories that I had shared with my friend Kathi. We grew up together in Yuma, AZ. Here is a picture of Kathi and I playing in the corral back of our house. Even though we raised many animals there, when there were none - it was our play house!!! Lots of dirt.

"Oh, do I remember those days! Riding my bike down a GRAVEL road with no hands; running through the tall Johnson grass in the back field, blazing trails for new hideouts; fishing for crawdads with thread, a straight pin and a piece of bacon; playing dare at the canal as to who would jump in at the locks! (never did that); catching baby frogs or were they toads at the canals edge, loading them into a big bucket, and finding them gone the next day (come to think of it, that must be why we always had so many toads covering our front porch!!!); making mud pies after the yard was irrigated; running and playing ON SUNDAY, in the irrigated yard and your (Kathi's)beautiful dirt/muddy driveway - the original slip and slide!!!; Climbing trees and getting scratched because the tree had so many thorns; trying to catch catfish at the Colorado Rivers edge on our farm; exploring a deserted little shed on the farm, only to have mom and dad tell us some evil people were lurking around and would kidnap us if we didn't stay close to the barn!; collecting all the pods from the mesquite trees and acting as if they were rattlers from a snake; teasing Randy Lines that the little red things on the pepper plants were sweet - burned his mouth off!; juggling places to sit on the "tailgate" of the pickup as we went down bumpy dirt roads, and sometimes, someone fell off, only to stop and jump back on amidst the cloud of dust; everyone gathering to eat as many pomegranates as we wanted, throwing the seeds at one another and then going home with red stains all over our hands, mouths and shirts and our moms would yell at us to be more careful about our clothes. Eating as many oranges, tangerines, pecans or apricots as we wanted - right off the tree; swinging as high as we could in the old tire swing; wishing I had zinnia's and flowers in my yard like Doris Power's!; making plaster-of-paris and balloon art projects; playing in the eucalyptus grove of trees; carving messages or figures out of the eucalyptus bark; feeling lucky when the neighbors would let you ride their horse; feeding the baby calves at the farm, where they smelled so good, drooled all over you and sucked your fingers so hard you'd think they would pop off. You wonder why we always took a bath at night? Simple answer - we were so dirty we had too!"

Now - what memories do you have?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have tried to establish relationships with the sisters in our ward; but for the most part I have felt disconnected with the members. It has been difficult. The members who have been here for many years have a hard time opening up their hearts to the transient members. One such sister admitted that her attitude has been, "Why put forth the effort in trying to know them, they are going to leave!" This made me sad, because I most likely will be one of those transient members - and I think that I have something to offer!

Anyway - this past Sunday was Fast and Testimony Meeting. It was a good meeting. However, as I was listening to some of the sisters speaking, it came to me that these women needed a hug. So after Sacrament meeting, I went up to those women and gave them a hug. It felt good to do that. Then when we were in Relief Society, I had another impression that I needed to seek out a Spanish sister in our ward and give her a hug too. As I was waiting for the meeting to end, the spirit filled my heart and whispered to me that there were a lot of lonely women in that room that needed me to reach out to them. It was if the veil parted and I was able to see these sisters as our Heavenly Father saw them, and feel how much He loved every one.

After the closing prayer, I bee-lined it over to Sis. Gomez. It was if she was waiting for me. I spoke with her a bit, and then told her that I needed to give her a hug and tell her how much I loved her, which she quickly responded and hugged me back. Then she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a look that said, "Thank you. I needed someone to say they cared."

Such a sweet feeling came over me and an assurance that I needed to always be willing to share a smile and hug with others. It is what everyone, even the whole world,needs.

So for those reading this post, though you may be few - know that I love you.

Trying to love as God loves is powerful - try it.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


_Tom Jones Comment from Heather Flottman's Blog_

Heather's full post-

Heather- you hit the nail on the head here.

First an introduction. I'm Senator DeMint's staffer that handles the CPSC issues for him. A couple quick things.

If your readers could:

1) Call their Senator Monday and let them know that the problems with the CPSIA still exist. There are still liabilities issues out there, its not clear yet what retailers reaction to the order will be (its great to not have to test for a year but if no one will sell your goods that a bit of a hollow victory), PIRG is going to sue to overturn the order and the order doesn’t do anything to deal with State AGs. And of course all the problems come back full-bore in a year. Please try to impress these things on your Senator’s office.

2) When you are on the phone with the office make a very specific ask. Let them know you want the Senator to co-sponsor the DeMint bill. Have their staff contact me. (I work on the Commerce Committee and my email is in the “Global Email Directory.” (they’ll know what that is) I can also be called through the DeMint front office phone line which is 4-6121.) Also let the person on the phone that you’d like a written response on whether the Senator will co-sponsor issue. Finally say thanks for talking to you. The person who answers the phone has the lowest job on the Congressional totem pole and when the phones get hot it can be very stressful. Throwing a little sunlight their way helps.

The main line for Congress is 202-224-3121. Tell the operator which state you are from and ask to speak to one of your Senators. Once you’re done with that, hang up and do it again with the other Senator.

Thanks again for all your help with this. If it wasn’t for you guys being so engaged on this issue, it wouldn’t be moving like it is.


Friday, January 16, 2009


I believe my mascara is running due to my eyes tearing from constant yawning. Only one more hour before Von is through with classes, then I will go home and crash for an hour or two. The nocturnal pull to stay up late while going to college IS NOT a habit of any worth.

Yesterday I volunteered for a PR Bradley Lab assignment, to write an update on Kelsey Nixon. So who is Kelsey Nixon? A BYU graduate in Broadcast journalism and contestant from season 4 of "The Next Food Network Star" series that aired this past summer of 2008. Funny that I should have watched the whole programming only to discover now, there was a BYU graduate! I interviewed Kelsey and her husband yesterday. Now I just have to frame the story and WRITE IT!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


This last week, Julianne was a sweetheart and made some bread. Her bread came out so pretty. Maybe because she added some white flour to it. Because of its beauty I thought I would show you how it looked. They were dressed for the cold weather.


There are days when the best thing to eat is a Hot dog. Oscar Meyer Beef Franks are my favorite. First I broil them in the oven, toast the bun, then slather it with mayonaise, mustard and pickle relish. Good food!

However, this little dog I would rather slather with love!


Today. What a concept. I am in the process of rearranging my "computer room"--meaning the bedroom with my computer, the glider, and some of my junk. When Von got here he set up the room, with my computer, printer and other stuff on two card tables. I have needed more table space and a readjustment of things, so up went the 6 foot table this morning so it doesn't jiggle when I type.

I have great plans for this room. An elegant day bed with trundle (for company--or me when I need to crash after one of those late night study sessions). Walls painted kiwi green, black and white bedding, black table top with vertical shelving and tin board to attach my creative musings. Things that make me happy.