Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Go Amanda

Here is the text message Dad got from Amanda. What a woman, gives birth and text at the same time!

Zoey Lynn Hansen
4:39am 5lbs 3oz
19 inches long

No she wasn't due yet, but the doctor was concerned the baby wasn't growing and decided to induce her early. She looks good to me.

A beautiful granddaughter with a beautiful great-granddaughter.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It was a Merry Christmas.

Well, it is over. It seems like there was so much to do in so little time and then poof it is all over and you are wanting just a little bit more. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I know I did. It was a quiet one compared to Christmas past. On Christmas Eve Shelli and family and Mike and family came over. We fixed soup, ham, yams, rolls, pies, cookies and candy. Then the next day we had a full on feast, but only Mike and Susann and the kids came. But Mike and Susann scored on the left-overs.

Here are the highlights:
Favorite Food: Dressing and Gravy. Jim outdid himself. Runner up - My cheesecake
Worst Food: My pumpkin pies. Why did I choose today to try a new recipe? Never again. Why mess with perfection?
Favorite Gift: Cute outfit
Favorite Moment: Sitting with family near the glow of the Christmas Tree, seeing the excitement on the little ones faces.
Favorite Kindness: Susann cleaned up the kitchen.
Favorite Saying: Something Katie said, I thought I would be sure and post it for all to enjoy, but now I can't remember it. Does that mean I am getting old?
Biggest Disappointment: I didn't get my scanner because someone procrastinated and it was sold out.
First Thing I am going to buy: My scanner
Biggest Surprise: Betty Boop allowed another dog in her house and even seemed to enjoy it.
Melancholy Moment: Realizing my family is now grown and from now on Christmas will be smaller.
Christmas Resolution: I will be done early next year so I can enjoy without the hustle.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's a Holly, Jolly Christmas!

I am so busy I haven't had time to post. What a busy week. On Monday I had our office cookie exchange and it was so fun. Great brunch and good cookies. I am putting my recipe on the side bar. It was extremely easy to make and so good. I think it is my new favorite for cookie exchanges.

Next was a goodbye luncheon for Marilee. She is moving to Tucson, AZ. I am going to miss her so much. Not only was she my counselor but one of my closest friends. I try not to think about her being gone, it will be hard not having her nearby. I have grown to really depend on her wisdom and humor. It just won't be the same without her. I am sure this is a good move for her family but we are going to miss her. However, the luncheon was a huge success, even though the rain was an unbelievable downpour.

I made sugared pecans (about 6 lbs) to give as gifts for friends. They were also easy to make, delicious and look good. I hope everyone enjoys receiving them. I still have toffee and fudge to make then most of my Christmas treats will be done. I think that will be on the agenda for tomorrow.

Woke up at 4:00 in the morning on Saturday with a million things running through my mind. I couldn't sleep so got up wrapped presents, boxed them up to send (they are in the mail) then wrote my talk. I had everything I needed to do done by noon. What a great feeling. I was the only speaker for sacrament today. Huge responsibility, lots of stress but I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. That really left me exhausted.

I also had 2 escrows last week (Yeah!!!) but one of them was a foreclosure and nothing but trouble. I spent hours and hours on it and it still hasn't closed. At least there will be a small pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

All I have left is a few presents for Jim and then the cooking for the dinner. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger

Friday's adventure was a fun trip to San Diego and Balboa Park to see the Christmas Lights. We drove by the embarcadero and grabbed a bite at Anthony's. The entire city was lit up and it was gorgeous. We finished the evening with a drive through Balboa Park. We were going to get out and walk around, but as you can see by the drops the rain started coming down hard and we were without umbrellas. So we settled on a beautiful drive. It was a fun evening.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I have a new grandson!!!!

Yeah! I have a new grandson, "Emmett Brantley Proffitt" born December 14, 2008. Go to the Northwest Bunch for photos! He is so cute and we are so thrilled! Love, love, love to Jim and Janeal.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Very tired and very worn out! I had two funerals today that I had to be in charge of. One was an inactive lady who was visiting her family who hadn't been to church since they were children. We helped them with everything and it turned out to be a wonderful experience. We held the service in the Relief Society Room and it was really good. We also took over food for everyone afterwards. I think we did good, pure service, no expectations - just Christ like love.

The second was a wonderful member of our ward, Pat Patterson. He was 86 and his wife died 6 years ago, so it was a blessing to think about their reunion. His wife had Alzheimer disease for the last 8 years of her life. He lovingly took care of her with nothing in return but a blank stare from her. It didn't stop him from his constant care. When the son went to the house after his death, on the mother's side of the bed was a card from Pat for every anniversary, birthday, mother's day and valentine day since she died. He wrote a personal love note in each of them and kept them by her side of the bed. Yes, love is eternal. What a beautiful love story this is - together at last.

As tired as I am, my spirit is floating!

Perfect Start To Christmas!

From Enrichment

We just had our Relief Society Party! It couldn't have been better. It really set the mood and I think this is going to be a wonderful season. Instead of a dinner and program we had a 'Giving Tree'. For the last few weeks sisters pulled off paper ornaments with information about a child to buy a gift for. We also got gift cards for the mothers. We decided to spend the night at the St. Claires shelter for battered and abused women and children. So off we went, with our wrapped presents, a fabulous pot luck dinner and a little trepidation in our hearts.

We were jammed into the center, it was crowded and hectic, but just perfect for breaking the ice and getting to know each other. The dinner was great, we sang carols and had a story. Then, the best part of the night. Santa! Guess Who? Do you know a chubby old man who is thinning on the top? You guessed it! He was absolutely amazing, probably the best Santa I have ever seen. Even though he had to wipe his eyes a few times.

The first thing he did was ask them if they knew Rudolph and sang it with them, complete with the trailers (like Pinocchio). They all sang their little hearts out. One by one they came and sat on Santa's lap and had their picture taken. One little girl said, "Is your nose really red like a cherry?" Santa said, "Well, what do you think?" She said with tremendous excitement, "Oh, It is! It is!" Each was so precious, so grateful, so full of hope. When you realize these children have never had a positive experience with a man, it made it even more special. One little girl followed Santa out of the building, I told her she had to stay inside and she informed me she wanted to watch him fly away.

I thought of the Savior's words, "Behold Your Little Ones" and "Let The Little Children Come Unto Me." I recognized and felt the spirit bear testimony how precious these children are to Him. He is aware of them and he loves them. It was a very overpowering experience.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

"Each one of you is living a life filled with much to do. I plead with you not to let the important things in life pass you by, planning instead for that illusive and non-existent future day when you'll have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey--now." Thomas S. Monson

My favorite time of year is here. The house is decorated (almost), the Christmas music is playing and I have the Christmas smell on the stove. Even though it's in the high 70's it feels like Christmas.

Many of you have asked, "How did you do Christmas for all of us kids?". I think back to those fun days, what made it special and how did we do it? First of all the presents. I always had 10 presents for each child. That made over 80 presents under the tree. I don't really recommend that, it put up unreal expectations for future spouses and wrapping was a beast. Each of you got 1 big present from Santa. I tried for it to be what you wanted most. Within reason of course, no pony under the tree. Then the other presents were smaller things that would be enjoyed. A T-shirt in one package, always socks in another. The next might be a box of crayons and a coloring book for the young or a packet of marking pens for the older ones. A lip gloss or a bracelet was always loved. You could count on a new pair of PJ's. It's amazing what you can find that is really wanted for little money. The stockings followed the same principle. A few candy bars, a piece of fruit always helped fill it. Paperback books were good for the older ones. Hair pretty, little cars, you get the idea. We never did a big family gift unless we had enough money to do both the individual gifts and a big ticket item. We saved the big ticket item for another time.

But that was only the climax to a wonderful season. It began with decorating the house, setting up the tree, playing Christmas music every day. I always had the Christmas smell simmering on the stove. (Mix water, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and few orange slices together and bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer. Keep adding water so it doesn't burn down). We went to all the decorations in the area, including the mall, attended both school and church Christmas programs and never missed a Frosty, Rudolph or any other Christmas TV show. We exchanged names among the kids and shopped for each other with excitement.

You remember the traditions, singing, cookies, etc. But the most important thing is enjoy! Take time to read a Christmas story, don't worry if it doesn't all get done. As long as it involves the kids it is worth doing, if it is just cleaning, it can wait a day or two.

My countdown has begun! I can hardly wait.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fasting for Julianne

Remember we are going to fast for Julie today! If you are unable to fast (for all you preggers) you must pray extra hard. I know we can really make a difference for her.


Thanksgiving Evening!

The food is eaten, the left overs put away, the dishes in the dishwasher and the kitchen is almost clean. I can't take another step. I am finally beginning to feel my age! As much as I enjoy all the preparations for a big feast, this is the final result! Crashed very early. I must say the food was exceptional. My pies could not have been better. I think I am going to have to have a pie making demonstration since I don't think any of my children and grandchildren can make a good crust. It would be a shame to lose my fantastic touch with pies, so be prepared - You will learn. My goal - never again a store bought crust in this family. I also put the rolls closer on the pan this year and they actually came out better. Try it, you'll be surprised. We had a wonderful day although we missed Susann and Eberly. Poor Eberly was sick, not only was it Thanksgiving, but it was her birthday! We are going to have to make that up to her, I sent home a whole cheesecake for her, it's her favorite. Don't know if she shared it or not! Now on to getting ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Family Fast

Dad and I were talking and we think it would be a good idea to have a family fast for Julie. She is not doing very well, her doctors don't seem to know what to do. She needs some extra help. This Sunday we will all fast breakfast and lunch. Remember her in your prayers thoughout the day. I know there is strength in all of us appealing to the Lord for his help with Julie. I hope all of you can join us.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Turkey and Dressing
1 large turkey already stuffed with Mrs. Cubbinson's dressing. Preferably cornbread. (Follow dressing instructions, but add onion (use less) , celery and 1 lb. browned sausage
Preheat oven to 450. Place stuffed turkey, breast up, in the center of greased, wide, heavy foil. Bring ends of foil up over breast; overlap fold and press up against end of turkey. Place bird in a shallow roasting pan. ( I use 2 throw away pans, one inside the other) Open foil for last 20 minutes to brown turkey.
7-9 lb....2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours
10-13 lb....2 3/4 to 3 hours
14-17 lb....3 to 3 1/4 hours
18-21 lb....3 1/4 to 3 1/2 hours
22-24 lb....3 1/4 to 3 3/4 hours

Remove from oven and let stand 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Use drippings for gravy.

Giblet Gravy - Boil Giblets (minus liver, unless you like live liver) in water on a saucepan. Drain and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Mix 2 TBSP. drippings with 2 heaping TBSP flour and 1 TBSP butter in skillet. Heat and stir until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Slowly add 2 cups milk, put back on heat, stir and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add giblets. Simmer until giblets are heated through. Can be doubled, tripled, etc. If too thick, gradually add more milk.

Mom's rolls
2 pkg yeast (check date to make sure it's not old)
1 cup cold water
Dissolve yeast in cold water. Set aside.
1/4 lb. butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
Pour boiling water over butter, salt and sugar. Stir until melted. Cool until you can stick your finger in it comfortably. Add to yeast.
Add 2 beaten eggs
Add 6 cups flour one cup at a time.
Cover with a damp dishtowel and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes. Shape and place on greased pans. Place in warm area, cover with damp cloths and let rise until double in size. Bake 400 for 10 to 12 minutes. Brush tops with butter.

14 gram crackers = 1 cup crumbs (boxed crumbs OK)
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
5 TBSP+1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Crust - mix together gram cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Pat around sides and bottom of a 9 or 10" pie pan. Set aside.
Filling - Combine softened cream cheese, 2 eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and light with an electric beater. Pour into crust. Bake 350 for 20 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes, gently spoon topping on cooked filling
Topping - Mix together 5 TBSP + 1 tsp. sugar, 1 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. Spoon over top and bake an additional 10 minutes at 350. Refrigerate at least 5 hours.

How did these traditions start?
Turkey and Dressing: My mother and father always made the dressing and gravy. This is their recipe. I learned about the foil method in a cooking class.

Rolls - Lucy Cranney, my friend for almost 40 years gave me this recipe.

Cheesecake - My friend Sherlynn Phares and I made these cheesecakes and sold them to a little cafe when I was about 19. It's been a tradition ever since.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beauty all around me

This week I am grateful for the beauty all around me. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with just how beautiful this world is. It really is magnificant to behold.

This is the fantastic sunset off our balcony.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Does anyone know how to do this? On my Relief Society Blog I want to have a link that goes to a page where people can leave a comment. Over on the side (not in the middle where the posts are)I want to put the reading challenge and then I want a link so sisters can leave a comment and read what others have said.

I would also like to know how to have a link on the sidebar and have it go to another page, kind of like a multiple page blog. Is it possible? Anyone know how to do it?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger

We finally had a semi-cool day and we decided if we were going to experience autumn we would have to go to it - it wasn't coming to us. So we embarked on a fun day trip to Julian.

Our first stop was at the Tenaja rest stop for a quick hike and our first look and feel of mountains. No fall color, but lots of pines and oaks and fresh air.
We continued on through Julian up to Cuyamaca. There is a ranch I have always loved. It has a beautiful meadow and is surrounded with pine trees. It also had a beautiful ranch house that had a fire going in the winter with smoke climbing out the chimney. Imagine my surprise when this is what we found.

Amazing isn't it! It was gone, burned to the ground! The entire Julian/Cuyamaca area is burned out; nothing but dead trees and stumps. Very ugly, and sad.

We were happy to see the lake was still pretty and we even saw a flock of Canadian geese on the shores. (If the pictures are too small - click on them to enlarge - they are fun.)

No fall color; not this year!

Onward and upward to the best part of the day! Shopping in Julian and apple pie. They have the very best apple pie in the world. It was hot out of the oven, smelled as good as it tasted. Yes, we brought a pie home. I was sorry we didn't buy two! We then went shopping and I hit the jackpot with a fabulous store 'The warm hearth', that went on forever, upstairs, downstairs, basement, back room, on and on, filled with wonderful treasures. It was such a temptation not to go crazy and buy it all. I had great self control.

Overall - a really fun day! We'll go again when the snow comes!

This is the part of Thanksgiving that I am

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yummy for the Tummy

I am saving the brownie recipe below so if you haven't tried it yet, it is still available. Look to the side bar for the recipe update. The new recipe is so good and a great substitute for pumpkin pie. Try it sometime this month, it will put you in the thanksgiving spirit.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Calling all Chocolate Lovers! This is soooo easy to make and soooo delicious!
1 box of brownie mix3 extra large Hershey Bars
Prepare a box of fudge brownies according to directions.
Pour have the mixture in a 9X13 pan (grease bottom).
Lay 3 of those giant Hershey Bars on the mix.
Pour the rest of brownie mixture over the candy.
Bake according to directions. Cool completely before cutting.
Frosting not needed, but if you want to eat with a spoon instead of fingers try it with whipped cream that has a small amount of chopped pecans and grated chocolate folded in.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prophets and such

This week I am grateful for Prophets and counsel from those who represent Heavenly Father. We have heeded his counsel and put the morality issue of marriage front and center. Now we are feeling the fallout. Our temples and churchs are being picketed. The demonstrators are loud and vulgar. They try to block the temple entrance and some of the members have been frightened and intimidated. Sunday we were told to be prepared for agressive demonstrators, an organized effort was taking place, they would protest outside and try to disrupt the services.

We had security in place at all the buildings and at the temple. About 4:00 am we experienced a weather change. It started with a strong wind and was followed by sprinkles. By 9:00 it was pouring. Not a gentle rain, but a downpour; freezing windblown rain that made you hurry to get out of it. Umbrellas couldn't keep you dry. The result? No protestors.

As I drove up to my 'before church meetings' I noticed what had happened and thought back to the early days in Salt Lake City. The Mormon pioneers had just gotten their crops in the ground and they were starting to sprout. This was all that stood between them and starvation next winter. Crickets came in droves and was destroying the crops. The pioneers prayed and asked the Lord for help. His answer was to send Sea Gulls, by the thousands. The skies were darkened by the number of birds. The gulls ate the crickets. They ate and ate. They actually threw up and ate again. They continued until all the crickets were gone. The food supply was saved.

Sometimes the Lord sends Sea Gulls and sometimes he sends rain. Sometimes he sends crickets which became a tremendous faith promoting experience for those pioneers. Today as in yesterdays he is always aware and looking out for those who love and serve him. We really have nothing to fear.

Friday, November 7, 2008

To make you smile

I am in a rage at the new website and the demonstrations at the temple. I can't seem to calm down so I thought I need a distraction. Thought you might like one to. This will put a smile on your face!

This is for those that haven't seen the 16 baby pandas. SICHUAN , China -- One zoo in southwest China has its hands full with 16 baby pandas. The Sichuan Wolong Panda Protection and Breed Center is dealing with the results of a breeding boom where 16 pandas have been born. The brood includes five sets of twins. The cubs are weighed and measured every five days (see pics). The heaviest tips the scale at just over 24 pounds, while the lightest weighs about 11 pounds. The pandas are due to stop suckling soon - just about the time they'll start learning to walk. Once weaned, the panda cubs will attend panda kindergarten. In the meantime, more little ones are expected at the centre since 38 giant pandas were artificially impregnated.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coming Up For Air!

OK, now I can breathe again! The election is over. Spent yesterday vegging out, very sad about the outcome, except for Prop 8, which was the most important. However, I hate big government and Obama scares me. I don't think government is capable of doing anything better or cheaper than the private sector. If I could have invested my Social Security myself all those years, it would be worth so much more. Plus I don't trust politicians. I am also upset at the way the media took sides in this election. WRONG!

But the more I think about it I think we might see something extraordinary from Obama. We will have to wait and see if he governs with his leftie friends or makes a stand for history as the first black President. William Shakespeare said, "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Maybe with our prayers he will rise to the occasion.

One thing that is very clear to me is that the only real safety for our children is within the walls of our homes and churches. They must be taught and re-taught what is right and what is wrong. They must learn at the mother's knee how to love the Lord. This is the only way they will find happiness in this filthy world we live in. Mom's even if you are exhausted and frazzled you cannot miss church or Family Home Evening. The world is changing so fast. I really think the Prop 8 yes is just a breather. It will go to the Supreme Court. The agenda for 'immorality and anything goes' is set and they are fighting as hard as we are. My daily prayer are that you will be strong in your convictions and pass it on to your children.

I think this quote was really written for us today."We live in the best of times, we live in the worst of times."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Past

I had a rather boring Halloween. Jim had to go to the church for Trunk or Treat and I had to stay behind to hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. We usually get some cute little ones but this year we only got big teenagers. Their bags were already half full and they weren't even nice. After awhile I just turned off the lights. The only highlight was when Susann came by with the kids. Even Betty Boop got excited to see them.

It made me remember the Halloweens in the past. I used to love Halloween as a kid. Our costumes were never store bought. I was a ghost (a bed sheet with 2 holes cut in it for eyes); a pirate (ragged jeans, a bandanna, junk necklaces, eye patch made from electrician tape); a princess (a prom dress purchased from Goodwill, no crown) and the most common-the hobo (similar to pirate but no necklace or eye patch and the bandanna now tied to a stick for a ruck sack). The school always had a costume judging contest, never won it. Didn't care.

Everyone wore their costume to school that day and we ended school early for the Halloween carnival. I went to Central School and they would set the carnival up in the street by the playground. The school was set up with lots of booths to win things. Each booth would have a game, like fishing, ring toss, knock down the bottles, etc. The prize was a cheap plastic toy like a spider ring. It seemed everyone got a prize. You had to buy a ticket to play, they were a nickel apiece. We usually got a dollar to buy tickets and I always was watching the ground for lost tickets I could grab.

I spent half my tickets on the booths and half on the cake walk. I wanted to win a cake so bad. Each year I would walk round and round and when the music stopped they would call out a number and the winner got a cake. It was NEVER mine! I never won but every year I kept trying. I loved it anyway.

They had chili and Kool-aid which was free, but you had to buy anything else. Since it was cafeteria food, we didn't eat much. We were too excited for the rest of the evening. Trick or Treating. We started at our house and went to Nana and Gramps collecting goodies along the way. We mostly were given penny candy, but one time I got a candy bar. No one else got it - just me! I was so excited. Sometimes people gave out pennies or nickles when they ran out of candy, that was also very good.

We ate so much candy we were sick for days. But loved every minute of it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How we are spending our time!

From Untitled Album
We have been busy as you can see working on Prop 8. We have been holding signs at street intersections. Most of the response has been positive - lots of horns honking in support - lots of thumbs up and waving. However there has been the occasional flipping off and a few vulgar remarks. Most of the nasty remarks can't be heard above the cars honking so don't really know what they were saying. Just guessing that with the uplifted finger it probably wasn't nice. There are groups at lots of street corners so we are getting great coverage. At one of the corners during the middle of the day a group of Mom's were waving their signs. A car came by and the guy in the passenger seat was mooning them. Just as they got to the green light it changed to red and they were stuck there for about 2 minutes. It must have seemed a lifetime to that hairy, pimply butt. Too bad they didn't get a face to go with the butt.

Saturday will be spent door hanging and Sunday and Monday will be telephoning to remind people to vote. We sure will be glad when this is over. At least we know we did all we could to make it happen, no matter the outcome.
From Untitled Album

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fridays with Ginger

This Friday, I discovered a new fun thing to do! It is the October Harvest Craft Festival!! It is in Del Mar at the fairgrounds. It was amazing, it has been going on for years and I didn't even know about it! It takes up several buildings (the Bing Crosby Hall, etc.) It is filled with thousands of booths. This is not Jim's thing - he pretends he likes it, but gets bored after a few booths that seem the same to him and wants me to hurry up, anyway since he is dieting he can't eat all the free samples. So I went with some friends and left him home.
Every kind of crafty thing you can imagine is there. I tried to take pics but my camera said it was protected and locked. How did that happen? If anyone knows how to free it, let me know, I would hate to have to buy another one of those little card thing-es. So I could only take one picture on my cell phone since I can't figure that out either.

But back to the fair. I was delighted with all the different things to buy. It took so much self control to just limit myself with so many choices before me. I settled on: A really cute Christmas shirt with matching earrings. Some fabulous, fantastic scrub ( mine is 'Sex on the Beach' and 'Waterfall Mist' - yes I bought 2), it is a overall body scrub, but really, really good for feet and hands. I also bought a hanging potpourri decoration, but it stank so bad I had to hang it in the garage until the smell goes away. It is still a cute hanging thing. Then I bought some special dips for the holidays, or whenever I get a craving. That was it - great self control!
Too bad this only comes along once a year. I will absolutely never miss it again!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So depressed!

After a really fun Friday (I will post that after I feel better) I woke up this morning so depressed. I was watching a news show on TV (big mistake) and they were telling the latest results of the election. Not only is Obama going to win by a large margin but Prop 8 is probably going to lose.

I can't stand big government and McCain is too liberal for me, so Obama scares me to death. I think he is going to destroy the economy with his Robin Hood approach. If you take money from the small business owner to give to those not even paying taxes (I call that welfare) I will not be able to have an assistant. You see it is all about me!

Last night we watched Gray's Anatomy and I was sick. It was a tutorial on how to seduce a same sex relationship. If you don't know what to do- just watch this show!! I couldn't believe the total and complete lack of morality. I will not be watching that show anymore and I am afraid this is going to be the world we live in from now on. You parents are going to have to be on guard for the evil that your children are exposed to.

I knew the world was going to get worse, all prophecies say it is so, but I didn't want to have to watch it happen. Just a few days ago I said, "How much worse can it get?" I don't really want to know that answer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A New Me!

Well, I have decided to go on a diet! I am suspose to keep a journal so I decided to do it here so all of you can share my journey. When Lynda was here I guess she and Jim decided we should all go on a diet. I am a little disappointed because I thought when you get to be 60 that was one of the perks - you don't give a damn about how much you weigh. But I really would like to tie my own shoes again, as long as that doesn't mean I have to give myself pedicures. I would also like to walk through the mall and not huff and puff.

So we are all on the South Beach Diet!!!! I'm probably not going to read the book because I already know if I like it; it's probably not on the list. If I love it; it is definately not on the list. Anyway, I am going to ease into this.

First day: No breakfast (nothing unusual there) Just a big gulp. Lunch: Jim brought home some delicious carne asada and salsa. He just had his on a plate, but that seemed a waste to me so I had mine in tortillas. Yummy. Dinner: Jim barbecued fish and added broccoli (yuck). I ate it but was still hungry so I had some more carne asada with tortillas. Not bad. In the morning I lost 1 pound!
Wow! It's working.

Second day: No breakfast, just a big gulp. Lunch: The carne asada was gone so I stuck some Velveeta in the tortillas and nuked it. Very good. Dinner: Steak (OK, not a fav) green beans. I ate it but was still hungry so I made Jim go to 7-11 for a refill and a package of Hostess SnoBalls. So good!!! I also had a ice cream bar (I'm trying to clean out the freezer). In the morning I gained a little, just a half pound. Soooo, I am now down 1/2 pound! Yeah, it is beginning to be bearable.

I'll post my skinny pictures!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger and family

This week it was a short drive to Valley Center to Bates Brothers Nut Farm!

Yes it is an old family favorite, especially this time of year. Lauri and family and Susann and family joined us. That made it lots of fun! It was about 90 degrees so it didn't really feel like autumn but that didn't stop us. We loved resting on the picnic tables in the shade when we needed a break.

Bates has been here ever since I can remember and just gets better each year. The highlight of the trip was the pumpkin patch where each kid found their ideal pumpkin. The little ones just wanted to play and it wasn't easy getting them out of there. I should have gotten a giant pumpkin for the front door, but didn't.

From there we went to the animals and bought 10 bags of food so everyone could feed the animals. Ducks, chickens, geese, goats, lambs, llama and horses were there for the feeding. Of course, everyone loved it and when the food was gone the kids picked up spilled corn from the dirt to continue the fun.

We stopped by the country store and controlled ourselves by just buying trail mix and nuts - leaving the fabulous candy alone. I don't think that was a good choice, but I will get another chance since we are going back to buy the stuff for my world famous fruitcake. I might even share that recipe this year (It is a family secret given to me by my Aunt Dorothy). They also had some wonderful decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Definitely will be going back.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger and Lynda

Yes, that's right this Friday we shared it with my sister, Lynda. Lynda came from Santa Rosa to spend the weekend with me. Actually it was to attend our niece Bethany's wedding. But I know it was really an excuse to see me. It was so much fun. We laughed and laughed. It is wonderful to get together again. It is interesting that no matter how much time passes we just pick up where we left off as if only a few days had passed rather than a whole year. We spent a lot of time together when our kids were growing up so we both love each others children. We love to hear what is going on with everyone. So what do sisters do when they get together? -----They Shop! Where do they Shop? You got it! So for our Friday adventure we headed to our favorite store.
The shopping was great, a perfect way to spend an afternoon. It was particularly funny, don't know why; it just was. Even the sales lady was having fun. We both got new tops for the wedding and then let Jim join us at the Brigatine for a yummy dinner. We all licked our plates clean and of course saved room for dessert.
And the wedding was beautiful, Bethany was a knockout. See Lynda's blog for more photos.

Next time we are going to buy twin outfits and have 2 desserts!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Laura is back!

Laura's blog is back up. She is in my blog list, Land of the Lost. She has a very funny clip from Martha Stewart. Don't miss it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gonna Be A Bear

In this life I'm a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake up to partially grown cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!

Thanks Roye.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger

Delicious and Beautiful! For this Friday we decided to take a short drive down to San Diego Harbor. It only took about 20 minutes to get there. Of course the main reason was to stop by Anthony's and have a delicious shrimp boat. For years this has been a family favorite. They have lots of things to choose from but we always come back to the shrimp boat. When the kids were little the containers actually looked like boats, now they just look like they taste - delicious!

Even though you can sit out front or on the side patio, we always go the far back and sit on the outside deck where we can see the water lapping beneath our feet. I love the smell of the ocean, the sounds of the gentle water and the seagulls squawking. The view is unobstructed and amazing. A gentle ocean breeze lifts your hair and cools you off. I think I have found heaven!

We talk and linger until the sun starts to set. A few sailboats drift by. We gaze at the large ships docked across the harbor. A naval carrier is there tonight as well as a luxury yacht. We watch the airplanes land and take off at Lindbergh Field. A helicopter Flies overhead. We enjoy the setting of the sun. It won't be going into the ocean today, there is a fog bank in the distant so the sun slips behind it and the fog bank is rimed with gold. I never forget why I love San Diego when I am here. It really is paradise.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just for fun.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

I love rainbows!

This week I am grateful for rainbows!

I awoke early this morning to the wonderful rumblings of thunder. I opened one eye and smiled at Jim. It was going to be a good day. For some thunder may be ordinary, but for us it is an unexpected treat. We laid in bed just listening to the boom for a while, the dawn is approaching, the room is starting to get lighter, kind of a pink glow. I don't see to many sunrises. My niteowl personality misses most of them. I dozed for awhile amid the symphony of sizzling lightning and rounds of thunder claps. Now the room was a soft light and I crawled out of bed to see the beginnings of a gentle rain.

As I looked out my bedroom window I was delighted with a full and complete rainbow. I could see it from end to end. Brilliant and perfect. I remember the promise the Lord made to Noah as he placed this priceless gift in the skies. I was overcome with gratitude for this magnificent and glorious world we live in. It's beauty is indescribable.

Today will be muggy, the heat and the tiny amount of rain will make bring about the humidity. So my hair will curl. Oh, yes! It's going to be a great day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fridays with Jim and Ginger

This Friday we decided to do something a little different. The new Sprinter, a fast rail transit system, just opened up in Escondido. It goes from Escondido to Oceanside. It is only a very short drive from our house. So we decided to take the Sprinter and go to Oceanside to walk out on the pier.

For only $2.00 we were able to purchase a round trip ticket. As we were boarding I noticed that some of the passengers were a little iffy. One was obviously a homeless woman and a couple of others looked like they had been working in the fields for a day. I don't think I would like to ride it during rush hour. But for the most part, it wasn't too busy and we had good seats going forward not backwards (important for me). It was fun seeing the backside of buildings. Boy, do some people have a mess behind their houses! It did take an hour with all the stops compared to the half hour it would have taken to drive. But it was very relaxing and gave me a chance to talk with Jim.

When we got to Oceanside we were just a few blocks from the pier so we walked to the pier. If was a beautiful day, warm but with billowy clouds and the sun starting to set. I love the smell of the ocean and the cool breeze. As we started walking out the pier we realized that there was a surfing competition going on. So we stopped and watched the surfers for awhile. We you are on the pier you are even with them on the water and can really get a good look.

There was quite a few people fishing. It looked like a good day, most were catching fish. I think I would have thrown some of the small ones back, but all the fishermen seemed to be keeping them. Not worth the cleaning to me.

At the end of the pier is Ruby's Diner. We had cheeseburgers, onion rings and old fashioned milk shakes. It was soooooo good! Probably the best cheeseburger I have had in a long time (yes, it was better than In-n-Out) and the shake was it's equal. As we were finishing up the waitress kept walking by with banana splits, hot fudge sundaes and all kinds of fantastic goodies. But we decided to be good, since we already blew 2 days calorie allowance and decline. So we are going to have to go back just for dessert.

The trip home was after dark so not as much fun. I think the first seat I sat in had a previous problem since there was sawdust on the floor. We moved to new seating and the rest of the trip was fine. A fun trip, we'll do it again.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Today I drove by Talones. Talones is a meat market near the railroad tracks in an industrial area of Escondido. Talones has been there ever since I can remember. It doesn't smell the same. When I was a child Talones was also a slaughter house. Obviously they had the freshest meat, so it was a popular place to shop. Now it is just a meat market with signs in the window in Spanish. I didn't go in.

My grandfather, John Ulrich was a butcher. He started at the Piggly Wiggly and when they went out of business he moved to Talones. My mother never had to make a decision about which piece of meat to select, she just told Gramps what she wanted. "Round steak today and a beef roast, along with a 3 lbs of hamburger." He would then put the round steak through the tenderizer (did you know you can have the butcher at the meat counter do this today?) which would eliminate the need to pound the round steak. He would select the very best cut of roast, guaranteed to be tender and flavorful. And the hamburger was always pink and wrapped up carefully.

She always took the kids with her to Talones. It was always on a Saturday. We loved to go to Talones. As we got out of the car you could hear the cows mooing. What fun! Sometimes they were in their pens outside and we got to see them, even better. And the smell......oh, I loved the smell. It smelled just like wieners! Yep, that's right wieners!

After Gramps had finished wrapping up Mother's purchase he would reach into the chilled meat display and from the large tray of stacked wieners grab a few. He would then turn to us and hand each one of us a raw wiener. You would have thought it was a Popsicle we were so excited. We would stand looking at the other customers with pride, no one else was munching on a wiener! Obviously we were very special. With boisterous goodbys I would clutch my treasure and munch my way back to the car. I loved Talones. I still like raw weiners.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Friday Fun with Jim and Ginger

Well, this Friday was a little off track. But it couldn't have been more enjoyable! We had a visit from Tony, Lauri, Hannah, Bailey, Grace, Ethan. Tony and Lauri went to see Eric in a play so I had a slumber party with the kids. Hannah called Anneli to come join her. Eberly was at a soccer game and couldn't make it (we missed you). Kyara drove Anneli here and when she came in asked, "room for two more?" Of course, so Kyara and Rommers stayed for the night as well.

We had a great time eating, watching TV and swimming. I thought it was cold but that didn't stop them from having a ball. Of course, Bailey was absolutely perfect the entire weekend. Lots of laughter and lots of fun.

Then the best time of all: Lauri taught me how to do blogs! I think I can make the backgrounds and headers now. We'll see, I haven't had time to practice but soon I will do it. So Fridays can be fun even at home.

Grammy's Slumber Party

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Friend Jack

Years ago I became acquainted with what I would call a great man. There are many things that make him great, but the one that stands out the most is his service during the Vietnam war. Jack Rollins was a POW for 6 years. His suffering was unimaginable and yet he has been able to forgive his oppressors. Having close contact with him over the years has taught me many lessons; one of the most important is not to obsess over little things that don't really matter. Jack has little tolerance for petty things. He has more integrity than anyone I know and you will never wonder where he stands on an issue. His honesty is complete and total. I marvel that instead of becoming bitter and resentful of his experiences he sees them as a valuable step to becoming the person he is today. You will never hear the words, "Why me?" come out of his mouth. He considers trials as stepping stones to personal progress. He is currently serving as a sealer (performs marriages) at the San Diego Temple. Most interesting of all, he was John McCain's roommate. He did an interview with 2 other POW's on Channel 8 TV today. Take a few minutes and watch the video. It will make you grateful for the sacrifice of others for our country. My life has been blessed because I know Jack.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's New!

Just thought I would point out the new recipe on the sidebar. This is a great recipe that brings back memories of my childhood. My sister Terry sent it. It is kind of like a lava cake when served warm, but also yummy when cold. You can't go wrong with it.

Also I have put together a new blog for our Relief Society. Lauri did the cute design for it. I am quite excited about it and think it will be a good way to stay in touch with all the Relief Society sisters. Check it out at www.societystuff.blogspot.com it really is good (even if I do say so myself).

We had a fun weekend with Tony and Lauri. They brought Hannah, Grace, Bailey and Ethan. Ethan is a real tank. He is both tall and solid. I don't know how Lauri carries him all day. I think I would have to put him on a blanket and drag him from room to room. The girls were great and it was fun to spend some time with Lauri. She taught me how to do blog backgrounds so I am going to try to change mine to a different theme. Hopefully I can remember what's what.

Jim talked to Julie today. The hurricane went right over her house, but it is OK. At least that is the report she got. Reed is in Virginia at school for the Coast Guard and can't come home. She had to do the evacuation all by herself. Fortunately, Conrad is a lot like his Dad and was able to organize the evacuation. This is the second time they had to evacuate, the last time it was Reed and Conrad (Julie was in Utah), this time it was Julianne and Conrad. The damage to the town, roads etc. is so bad she will have to stay at the hotel in Tyler, TX for about 30 more days. How would you like that? Fun the first day, but a little too cozy after a short while. Her life is completely upside down. But at least the house is safe and most of all they are out of harm's way. Let's all pray for an end to Texas hurricanes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday Fun with Jim and Ginger

This is a new addition to the blog. We decided to discover and do all the fun things San Diego County has to offer. We will then share it with you. Kind of like a personal travel log. Then when you come here, you will have great things to do also. This is the first thing we decided to do.

OK! OK! I know this is a cop-out but really....it is still in the 90's here and it still feels like summer. Why hike, sweat or drive when you can just do this? My idea of a perfect Friday!

The big gulp is waiting by my towel!

Betty Boop

It is amazing and kind of funny but one of my favorite blessings is Betty Boop. As much as I like her, it is nothing compared to Jim. It was his job to train her, well she still won't come when you call her unless she wants to. Instead of sitting to get a treat, he encourages her to "dance". And worst of all, she spends a large amount of time in his lap when he is watching TV. As you can see she brings him 'Woodstock' her favorite toy. It is funny but she knows not to try all that with me.

However, untrained as she is, she is the sweetest dog we have ever had. She is so gentle with the babies and loves the older kids. She is also very sensitive to my moods. After my surgery she just laid at my feet and was there to comfort me. When I am upset she tries and succeeds in making me laugh. Always the clown but never the fool. Overall, she has added a great amount of joy to our lives.

One of Jim's favorite TV shows is the Dog Whisperer. He was watching a show that used the swimming pool to train the dog. He would hold the dog in his arms and support the dog until it relaxed and grew comfortable in the water. So Jim took Betty Boop to the pool. She was fine as long as he held her, but panicked when he let go. Mostly he just held her and she had a good time. Then he set her on the deck, she shook off the water a few times and started running all over the yard. By the time we came up to the house she was full of dirt and who knows what else. The biggest problem was her beautiful long hair was now full of mats. We tried to get them out, but no luck. She had to go to the groomer and get a hair cut. So sad, they had to cut her underhair but left the upper so she still has her long hair, it is just not as thick.

Crazy Week!

Oh what a crazy week! I didn't even have time to read the blogs, so I am just getting caught up. First, I have work again!!! Yeah, that is the good news! I have an offer on the house that fell out of escrow. This one looks good. We have inspections today so I am hoping all is well. So I have been spending days on paperwork and putting this deal together. It took 4 counters but I did it. Then I had a buyer who wanted not one but two investment properties. Very nice! But of course that takes up all your time. Looking at really ugly houses that stink is not too glamorous.

It was time to turn my car back in, the lease was up. I would have bought it but they wanted way more than it was worth. So we had to go car shopping. I bought a Lexus ES350. Then I had to get to know all about the new car. I actually spent 3 hours just getting my phonebook set up. But it is worth it. Now I just punch the button on the steering wheel and can call anyone I want. It also has the navigation system like my last car, but this is better because it is voice activated. Gone are the days when I drove with a big gulp in one hand, my phone tucked under chin and taking notes on a pad with the other hand. Sometimes that made my clients nervous. Wimps!
This is my favorite part on the car ...............

And of course my nights were captivated by the convention. I watched every minute I could of both the Democrat and Republican conventions. I just loved this one! Stupid reporters! Never underestimate a woman! I love a good gotcha and with the idiotic questions they asked Sarah Palin, I thought it was perfect she turned out to be such a great speaker. When all the debate was going on about how she would ever be able to speak at such an important event, I told Jim; I could do it! No problem! When you raise children, you can do anything!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Take Your Turn!

I came across an old poem and thought I might like to share it with you. It was written by Carol Lynn Pearson. She is the author of 'Day Old Child', one of my very favs. Anyway it got me to thinking about how important it is that you take time to do something for yourself. I know Sept. is for the kids going back to school, but Oct. should be for you. Whether it is a new dress, shoes or just a lipstick it will make a difference in how you feel.

Some of the best advise I ever received as a new married was from a friend about Christmas. Her husband grew up in a very poor family and didn't celebrate Christmas and he just ignored it. Instead of getting her feelings hurt, she took him shopping to buy her presents. It became a cherished tradition for the two of them. I wouldn't like that; I like the surprise, but the principle is correct. If you only have $10.00, spend $5.00 on him and give him $5.00 to spend on you. Once a year isn't enough. You need to make sure you sometimes; not always, but sometimes put yourself first. It is good for your children, your spouse and you. The advise is good for both sexes.

The poem is long, but read it anyway.

Millie's Mother's Red Dress

It hung there in the closet
While she was dying, Mother's red dress,
Like a gash in the row
Of dark, old clothes
She had worn away her life in.

They had called me home,
And I knew when I saw her
She wasn't going to last.
When I saw the dress, I said,
"Why, Mother - how beautiful!
I've never seen it on you."

"I've never worn it. she slowly said.

Sit down, Millie - I'd like to undo
A lesson or two before I go, if I can."
I sat by her bed,

And she sighed a bigger breath
Than I thought she could hold.
"Now that I'll soon be gone,
I can see some things.
Oh, I taught you good - but I taught you wrong."

What do you mean, Mother?"

"Well - I always thought
That a good woman never takes her turn.
That she's just for doing for somebody else.
Do here, do there, always keep
Everybody else's wants tended and make sure
Yours are at the bottom of the heap.

Maybe someday you'll get to them,
But of course you never do.
My life was like that - doing for your dad,
Doing for the boys, for your sisters, for you."

"You did - everything a mother could."

"Oh, Millie, Millie, it was no good -
For you - for him. Don't you see?
I did you the worst of wrongs.
I asked nothing - for me!

Your father in the other room,
All stirred up and staring at the walls-
When the doctor told him, he took
It bad - came to my bed and all but shook
The life right out of me. 'You can't die,
Do you hear? What'll become of me?

What'll become of me?'

It'll be hard, all right, when I go.
He can't even find the frying pan, you know.
And you children.

I was a free ride for everybody, everywhere.
I was the first one up and the last one down
Seven days out of the week.I always took the toast that got burned.
And the very smallest piece of pie.
I look at how some of your brothers treat their
wives now,
And it makes me sick, 'cause it was me
That taught it to them. And they learned.

They learned that a woman doesn't

Even exist except to give.
Why, every single penny that I could save
Went for your clothes, or your books,
Even when it wasn't necessary.
Can't even remember once when I took
Myself downtown to buy something beautiful-
For me.

'Except last year when I got that red dress.

I found I had twenty dollars
That wasn't especially spoke for.
I was on my way to pay it extra on the washer.
But somehow - I came home with this big box.
Your father really gave it to me then.

'Where you going to wear a thing like that to -
Some opera or something?

And he was right, I guess
I've never, except in the store,
Put on that dress."

"Oh, Millie - I always thought if you take
Nothing for yourself in this world,
You'd have it all in the next somehow.
I don't believe that anymore.
I think the Lord wants us to have something-
Here - and now."

"And I'm telling you, Millie, if some miracle

Could get me off this bed, you could look
For a different mother, 'cause I would be one.
Oh, I passed up my turn so long
I would hardly know how to take it.
But I'd learn, Millie.
I would learn!"

It hung there in the closet
While she was dying, Mother's red dress,
Like a gash in the row
Of dark, old clothes
She had worn away her life in.

Her last words to me were these:

"Do me the honor, Millie,
Of not following in my footsteps.
Promise me that."

I promised.

She caught her breath.
Then Mother took her turn
In death.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The High Country

So.... I have procrastinated long enough in telling of our backpacking trip. Michael and I had a grand experience over 2 miles high in the Sierras. We started at the highest trail head in the Eastern Sierras, 10,250 ft. high. (Can't breathe!!) Click on photos to make larger.

This is "Little Lakes Valley". A spectacular series of lakes, all over 10,000 feet high. An incredible opportunity to appreciate the wonders of God's creations, and I move slow enough that we were able to take it all in.

As we carried backpacks that were too heavy, it dawned on me that if I did this often enough, I would be in great physical condition! Good goal.

Sleeping under the stars at that elevation is a totally different experience. You can't really make out the constellations because of the blanket of stars. The Milky Way was close enough to touch.

The granite peaks make you feel incredibly small.

You never get tired of looking at them.

Notice the snow pack still on the ground. I took this picture from one of our campsites.

Mike and I bathed in this creek just above where he is standing. We will never be the same, if you know what I mean (refreshing...Not!)

This is Rock creek that connects all of the lakes (Marsh Lake, Mark Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake, Long Lake And (finally!) Chicken Foot Lake on our trip up Little Lakes Valley.

Now my goal is to hike the John Muir Trail before I get to old (should keep me young, don't you think?!!). 216 miles, from Yosemite to Whitney Portal.Some of the most spectacular country this side of Alaska.

So..... Who's going to get in shape and go with me???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Garden of Innocence

These are the results of our Enrichment Night which included making coffins for the Garden of Innocence. They are an organization that provides a dignified burial for abandoned babies. In addition the the caskets, complete with 2 homemake blankets, toy and poem, they give the baby a name and hold a memorial service. It was a wonderful feeling to know you were doing something that counts.
We made 8 in all. This is Elissa, the founder of the organization, Nick, it was his eagle scout project; he built the caskets and Katherine who organized the rest for her Laurel project

I thought mine turned out great.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I have been thinking about a comment on Lauri's blog for a few days and decided to share my thoughts on the subject here. On Lauri's blog she said, "My mother in law has brought this up. Turn it over to Christ she tells me. Allow the atonement to work. Do we Suffer needlessly because we don't turn our hearts over to the healing power of the Lord? So, what exactly does that mean? Christ died for us. He has felt my suffering and pain. He atoned for it. He has promised us “I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them … ; and this will I do … that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” While this is a comforting thought I ask what does it mean exactly to allow the atonement to work for me? Is it faith?"

I think this is one of the great questions of life. It is so hard to comprehend how this can be possible. I read a book a while ago from Stephen Robinson called, "Believing Christ". His premise was, yes we believe in Christ, but do we believe Christ. It's easy to say, he is our Savior, he died for our sins, we believe in the atonement...but do we really believe Christ. Do we believe him when he says he paid the price for our sins? If so when we repent of our sins, are we able to let go of them and see ourselves as pure and worthy of all the blessings he has to offer or do we compare ourselves to others. So often not measuring up. To be able to actually turn our pain and problems over to Christ takes some practice. Again do you believe he will accept them? It takes time to establish that level of faith and trust.

To do so you begin with prayer, daily personal prayer. I like to start my prayers with , "Father are you there" and wait to speak until I feel his presence. It is amazing to me, but I have never not felt his presence when I begin a prayer this way. Sometimes it takes a few minutes but it always happens.

The next step is scripture reading. I know studying is better, but it is amazing how beneficial just one verse of scripture a day can be. If you are having a hard time reading try just a little bit and build on.

The last thing that helps me is to attend the temple. The temple is such a peaceful place and it is so nice to have a place that is away from the hustle and bustle of regular life. I am always renewed after I go.

Last of all, this is a line upon line, step by step process that continues throughout your life. It doesn't matter if you have perfected your relationship with Christ. The question should be, are you closer this month than you were last month?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Sounds of Silence

Well, Kristi and Aaron have just left, Dad is at mutual and it is just me and Judge Judy. The dog is mopping around and it will be a few days before we get used to the absence of family. We had a great visit with them. The cutest of all was how much Betty Boop and Shaun loved each other. They couldn't leave each other alone, they wrestled each other to the ground. It was really cute. We are going to miss them all.

Last night we went to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach with Kristi and Aaron and Shelli and Romney. This is a world famous production in it's 75th year. It's in an outdoor amphitheater where live actors portray works of art by the greatest artists. You would never know they are real people, it looks just like the original painting. They conclude each year with DaVinci's Last Supper. It was great. I am a member and order my tickets in January, they sell out so quickly I just blindly pick a date and hope we will be able to go. It's usually in August and I always get extra tickets so whoever is here when the date comes gets to go. I hope I can afford the tickets next January. With this RE market, who knows, but we really enjoy it. Every year I am glad we are able to go. I am so amazed at all the things we can participate in where we live. San Diego is just wonderful. We probably live in the best place in the world for fun fantastic things to do.

Favorite Pictures of Kristi's Vistit

Grandpa & Shaun

Shaun lovin the pool

Mike & Avery

Mike & Eberly

Shaun rockin out at Shamu Show