Friday, December 26, 2008

a blessing or a curse

Have you ever wondered what you would do without a cell phone? I have been thinking back . . . I have had one for years - and the last 3 years we haven't even had a land line because we all have cell phones, so why pay for a land line. I pretty much take my cell phone with me everywhere. So let me ask . . . do you control your phone, or does it control you? Do you answer every call, convenient or not? Do you interrupt a conversation with someone in the room to answer your phone? Do you talk on your phone when driving? We have been told that is very dangerous and that we should not do it. However, that is for everyone else, right? After all - we are invincible. Now - let me ask - do you have texting? How many texts to you do per month? On our bill the person with texting averages 5000 to 7500 messages per month. Is that excessive? Do you text when you drive? I certainly hope not! I think that is as bad as driving drunk. People die because other people are texting and cause accidents because they are not watching the road. They are focused on that small and miraculous electronic devise that makes us think we must stay in touch at all costs. Now let's get realistic. Our communications could actually wait for 10, 15 , or 20 minutes - or even longer. There is no need to be foolish and get caught up in thinking that we must make this call or take this call while driving, or while doing other things. Or that we can read a text or even worse, send one while driving. Please, my kids and grandkids are out there. What ever happened to good manners? We have all forgotten manners, because we are like Pavlov's dogs - when the bell rings we run. Come on, folks, take control.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Another Movie Review

This is all coming from seeing a movie this afternoon. I had so looked forward to this movie. 7 Pounds. The plot was such a mystery and all through the movie you were so draw in and trying to figure out where it was going. Let me tell you that for me it was a HUGE disappointment. I really love Will Smith, and I think he is an amazing actor. The acting was great, the filming was great. The story line, however, left a lot to be desired. Once again, Hollywood strikes. Is it okay to commit suicide? Is it okay if you are donating your body parts to people you feel deserve to live and would not live without your donation? Or the quality of their life would be vastly improved because of your donation? Certainly it is okay for the heroes to sleep with someone and break a commandment because they are caught up in the passion of the moment. Even though we know it is not right, it’s okay in the movie, right? How do they get away with making evil good? Certainly we, as the public, allow ourselves to participate or view things that we consider wrong and call it good entertainment. When I left that movie last night, I was so disappointed. I am tired of entertainment that touches the evil in the world and prods people to accept it as normal – as acceptable.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Movies

We went to see "Australia" on Saturday night. It was one long movie. Beautiful scenery. Interesting story. Makes we want to know the real history that was shown. Very unrealistic love story - kind of like "Gone With the Wind." Too bad they had to have immorality and murder. I left the theater with this feeling: "Why is there such prejudice in the world?" Would I recommend seeing the move? Yes! It was very entertaining.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am sad...

Today I am sad... even to the point of tears. Maybe I have PMS or something, but the feelings are real, so I guess I will just have a good cry. My kids are gone for Christmas. I took them to the airport this morning. I wanted a picture of them but Becca wouldn't stand by the tree, so I say "fine. I don't want your picture anyway," and stomp off to the car. How stupid of me. We did have some Starbucks at the airport, though, and a hug. My dad broke his arm, and I can't be there to help take care of him. I miss Katie and Julie so much it hurts. I just want to play the train game and do puzzles with them while we guzzle eggnog, Pomegranate 7up, and hot chocolate and eat Christmas goodies. I don't get to see my grand kids for Christmas this year. I am sick with a stupid cold, so I don't feel good anyway. I miss my siblings, LaRue, Janet and David. I miss my Mom. I miss my nieces and nephews. I miss my dear mother in law, who just passed away. (I do NOT, however, miss snow...) Perhaps it is the Holiday Blues... I will take a deep breath and get over this... I know I am blessed with such abundance, and I am not ungrateful in the least. Hopefully this sad spell will pass quickly. I am looking forward to my two week break from work. Perhaps I will go do some cleaning now and use up some energy being productive instead of sad. Maybe we can to go the matinee this afternoon when Rod gets home from work...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Concert Time

Just let me say first of all, that I hate the term "Holiday Concert." It used to be "Christmas Concert." It is totally Christmas music, and they even sing the word Christmas in almost every song. They had Christmas lights and a Christmas tree in the lobby. Thank you - now I will get off my soap box and continue.

Last night was Becca's chorus concert. It was great! They sang some really beautiful Christmas pieces. This clip is part of her favorite number. She is on the second row just to the left of the pianist - remember she traded places with the "spitter" on the front row. It was hard to get her because of the angle we were sitting, head bobbing, etc. But you can how cute she is if you watch closely! I love Christmas music. It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas! Thanks for a great evening, Becca. (p.s. I know you hate your red dress, but the choir looks nice in their formal wear ;o)

Monday, December 08, 2008

A special gift...

A year ago, my dear friend, Rondaleen, asked us to reserve December 6th, 2008 on our calendar. She asked us if we would like to go to a concert with her. I thought "sure, it's a long way off, but we would love to go." All at once the day was here!
We were at the arena right here in Glendale - same complex where the Super Bowl was held last year. It is a beautiful place!
This is a shot of the people waiting in line to get in. There were numerous lines like this, snaking their way through the grounds.
Just to prove that we were really there - here she is - Celine Dion! It was such an amazing concert! She was incredible. The staging was creative and exciting. Her voice is so powerful and she performed with such emotion and energy. We had such a great time. Thanks, Rondaleen, for this wonderful gift! It will be long rememered as a stellar night!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

One week in to December...

I can't believe that we are already one week in to December. How time flies! The days go by fast and furious with work, family and church stuff. Sometimes I feel like I am on a fast moving treadmill and I can't get off. It was fun to decorate for Christmas last weekend - a tradition I enjoy doing right after Thanksgiving. Seems like no one but me was excited about it this year, but I love doing it so that's okay. I just hope they all enjoy the decorations, tree, and lights. I hope to have time to sit still and just enjoy it sometime before I have to take it all down!

Today was our church Christmas Breakfast. It was such a fun event! We had wonderful food, and some talents were shared. Becca and the YW performed a few musical numbers and I made a little video clip of part of one of their songs. I was asked to be the photographer for when the kids visited with Santa. Some of them were scared to death! Others were in total awe. It was so cute to see them whisper in his ear, watch their faces, and enjoy their excitement. Don'tcha just love Santa. I sure do! Oh yes! Jayden loves Santa. But his little brother doesn't look too happy.

While Elli was standing in line, she talked to herself about Santa: "Santa is nice. I can talk to him..." Eli was a-okay with the whole thing.

Get me outta here! The Bishopric even sat on Santa's lap!
Carson just had to go back for a second conversation with Santa...
Here is the video clip of Becca...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Joy in my posterity

These two picked us up at the airport.
Becca got some jammies with monkey feet! We played "house" and made dinner.
What is this? I got to help Luka open his birthday present a few days early!
Big brother will help figure this thing out. I think Cooper will help Luka figure out lots of different things throughout their lives!
Just chillin.... love
Time was precious and each day too short as I was able to spend a long weekend in Utah. I enjoyed spending time with my daughters and grandchildren. I was also able to see my sisters and my dad. It was a special gift to have this time and I wasn't ready for it to end.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post-Birthday Post

This morning at 3:00 am I heard a thunderous and panicked pattering of feet charge into the kids' bathroom. I then heard the ensuing opening and slamming of drawers and then.... well, poor Becca was sick! I got up to check on her. She had big tears running down her cheeks because she had barfed so hard. I sent her back to bed after a drink and some Maalox. She got up early and had a few little presents. She is trying to look brave here. She missed Seminary, but went to school. At 10:30 she called me to pick her up because she was still feeling pretty bad. I finished up a couple of things at work and spent the rest of the day at home with her. She felt better later on and we went to the Texas Roadhouse for her birthday dinner. Ashley and Allen came with us. We came home for birthday cake. She blew out all 15 candles!
About 8:00 as we were watching the election results we heard the "ding-dong" of the doorbell. There were balloons and girls! Some of the Young Women came to wish her a happy birthday!
What an darling group of girls, along with amazing Julie McLean, their fearless leader.
They decided to stay for some cake and ice cream. They are so hilarious! It was noisy and fun the whole time the girls were here.
I then gave the traditional serenade of Happy Birthday like Donald Duck. We all had a good laugh! I hope Becca had a really good birthday. She is an amazing young lady. I am so blessed to be her Mom.

Happy Birthday Becca!

for some birthday fun, I would like to share some of my favorite memories of Becca: This was a couple of years ago when we went to Snow Flake to meet Trudy's dad. Becca was using a blow torch!
One of my favorite things she does - play the guitar. I could listen to her all the time!
Nothing like good friends!
She is a darling auntie!
An Actress!
First Road Show.
Her 14th birthday, last year. She wanted an ice cream cake.
Always able to capture the drama of the moment.
I could post a million pictures of this girl. Another favorite memory is of her as a 4-year-old putting blankets on her stick horses, feeding them, and bedding them down for the night. She was hilarious!
One day she was standing in her wading pool with all of her clothes on, and dunking herself. Katie asked her what she was doing. She said "I'm just practicing being baptized!"
Becca has always added a spark of originality to everything she does and every situation. That is what makes her so much fun to be with! I have loved watching her blossom the last couple of years as she has taken on much leadership in her Young Women's group. She has learned about service, faith, testimony and friends. Becca has become a favorite babysitter for some of the young families in our ward, and has a very special bond with some of those little kids.
And now she is turning 15 - that means she will be getting a learner's permit in a few months - so watch out world. Here comes BECCA! It has been amazing watching her embrace high school and seminary this year. How I love this girl. I am so lucky to be her mom!

Monday, November 03, 2008

What's under your bed?

We decided we needed a place to store some of our #10 cans of food storage. We purchased some cinder block stepping stones to raise up the guest bed far enough for the cans to fit underneath. It was interesting to lift up the mattress and see how the dust bunny colony was thriving under there. I quickly did away with them by wielding the vacuum. It was kind of funny, I found a pink pacifier under there, too. I think it belonged to Ava. But once it was all clean, the cans lined up beautifully. There is even room for a few more cans. I decided we needed to dress up this room a little, so I found this cute comforter set at Costco a couple of weeks ago for half off. Now all I need to finish it up is to get the dust ruffle. Just be careful when you walk around the bed. One can stub a toe on the cinder blocks!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peoria Pride

On Saturday Becca, Rod and I got up early and went to work with several of our ward members at the Peopria Pride project. This is an annual event sponsored by the City of Peoria. They provide all of the supplies, such as gravel, wood, paint, and equipment for renovation in selected neighborhoods to refurbish and renew the look. We, as citizens of the community, provide the manpower. The church is involved in this event as a service project. We had a great turnout from our youth. They worked hard, and after we were done, the all came to our house for donuts and drinks. As you can imagine, we breathed in a great deal of dust from working in the gravel. We dug up Bermuda grass, removed old gravel, and raked and smoothed the new gravel.
The young men really hustled and got the job done. Several of the men worked on putting up fences. They used posthole diggers, plumblines, hammers, shovels, etc. They did a very professional job.
The girls learned about "manual labor." The bishop and his boys take a look at the newly refurbished flower bed they just finished.
The McLains are always there with a smile and a helping hand. She is the YW president in our ward and is just amazing with what she does with our girls.
Sister McOmber was there with a drill in hand, and she was also found on the end of a shovel, a rake, a broom, or whatever else needed doing. One of the city workers there commented to her "you just don't stop, do you?" I told him if you want a job done, just get a bunch of Mormons together.
It is always good to get together with ward members. Whether we work or play, it builds our bonds of unity. I am so glad I got to go and participate in this great event. As I looked up and down the street, and saw over a hundred members of our stake out working together, I was so overcome with love for these wonderful brothers and sisters in the gospel. It was amazing to see this project!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The 5 Things Lesson

Last night we had a stake Relief Society fireside. The speaker came down from St. Johns. I have never heard of this place, but was told it is just a little podunk town in Northern AZ. The speaker was willing to come down and share some things she had learned from some of the hard stuff that life had dealt her. 3 years ago, her husband was killed in an auto accident. She had known him since she was 15 and he was the love of her life. She just didn't know how she was going to go on. After much coaxing, she went to a Women's Conference with a friend and learned a great deal. As she learned new things, she applied them to her life and is sharing with others. She has given her speech in every ward in her town, and people are inviting her other places now. She said that before you get out of bed every day you are to ask yourself these 5 questions and answer them:
  1. What do I love about myself?
  2. What do I have to look forward to today?
  3. What does Heavenly Father want me to learn?
  4. Who can I serve?
  5. What am I grateful for?

She then said "Don't forget to laugh out loud every day!"

I thought this was all very profound. I am a believer in affirmations and in being positive. I totally look for the joy in life with every experience. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and I try to be in tune with that everyday. I believe that if you want to love someone, you should serve them. I also believe in gratitude. And I love to laugh. So her philosophy was nothing new to me, but it was well organized and I liked the "5 Things Lesson." I have committed to myself to ask and answer these questions each day. It is a worthy challenge.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Busy Saturday!

4:30 - rise and shine! 5:00 - leave for the airport to take Julie. She did not feel well this morning. She rolled down the window and barfed onto the freeway. Of course it got all over the side of the car. My poor girl! 6:00 - home from the airport. Get Rod up. 6:30 - arrive at the bishop's home to can our pasta. We did 12 cans - wide egg noodles, homestyle noodles, and elbow macaroni. It is supposed to stay good for 30 years. Hmmmm....wonder if I'll ever have to open it up to survive. 7:00 - home and Rod leaves for work. I went to the car wash. Came home and did the inside of the car too, vacuum, windows, the whole enchilada. Also stripped the beds, vacuumed all of the ceiling fans (very yucky!) and started the laundry. 8:20 - take Becca to her YW conference breakfast. 8:45 - hit the shower 9:00 - watched the morning session of conference. 11:15 - dash to WalMart to get a few canned items and some cash so Becca can get a haircut. 11:45 - leave to meet Rod at Costco to get our weekly shopping stash. We enjoy having a chicken Cesar salad while there. 1:00 - watch afternoon session of conference. During this time, Rod also mows, edges, and uses the blower on the yard. He also gets the evaporative cooler going. It is very nice - and now we won't be using our electric meter for a fan. 3:00 - put away all the Costco stuff. Go check out the water barrels. Since it is conference time, Rod empties out the water and refills them to keep the water fresh. This will be done twice a year. He uses a clear piece of plastic hose and just lets it syphon out. Pretty slick! We are going to get one more barrel next week. That will give us 200+ gallons of water in storage. Hopefully, we will never have to use it. 3:30 - more laundry. Allen is here. Put clean sheets on the bed, put up clean towels in the bathroom 4:00 - take Becca and MacKaela to WalMart while I go to the credit union to make a deposit. I bought all the stuff for Heidi's enchiladas for dinner. Take Becca and Kaela to Kaela's house. 5:00 - Rod calls and says he and Nick are on their way to the priesthood session. 5:15 - get home and kind of crash. Get on the computer for a few minutes and check out some of my favorite blogs and check the email. 5:45 - ahhh! where did the time go? Gotta get those enchiladas going for dinner. 6:40 - enchiladas in the oven. Set the table. Get out the Halloween table cloth. Empty the dishwasher. Do the dinner prep dishes. 7:10 - the family is home and we have dinner. Do the dishes. Cleaned the kitchen. 8:00 - do some folding. I still need to clean my bathroom. 8:30 - decided to take a break and post on my picture-a-day. I still need to clean my bathroom. 9:05 - I feel so done with this day! Guess I better quit this post and go clean my bathroom.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

People Watching...

I was fascinated yesterday, as I sat on a bench with our grocery cart in Wal Mart while Rod was at the credit union getting a new debit card. I observed a myriad of different people. Young, old, short, tall, slim, fat, extremely fat, so fat she couldn't walk and had to use one of those little electric carts, white, black, brown, yellow, red, long hair, short hair, well dressed, shabby looking, smart looking, dumb looking (you know the vacant eyes with the mouth hanging open), children with boundless energy dancing around their parents, subdued children, those that looked happy and those that looked sad, handicapped, athletic, ponytailed men, and short haired women, tattoos, cleavage, wrinkles, freckles, acne, pierced, I mean I was amazed! I could go on and on. But I guess what was profound is that I thought about how every single one of those people is a child of God, my spirit brother or sister. He knows them by name as he knows me. He feels their joys and their sorrows, their fears and their celebrations. He wants them all back. I was humbled by this little 10 minute experience. I was also very thankful for the blessings in my life. I do not know about going without - I have never been hungry, naked, homeless, in prison, sickly, handicapped, etc. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the abundant life with which I have been so blessed. Certainly I have had heartaches in my life, but I have always had the comfort of the Savior to see me through. There are so many out there that do not have that. I would never want to trade places with anyone! Certainly that is the greatest gift in my life - to know the Savior and to know that he knows me.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Dream Come True

For the last year and a half, Allen has been trying to get his foot in the door for a career in law enforcement. In June, he entered the Sheriff's academy for Maricopa County. He graduated August 28, 2008, after a rigorous 9 week course of studies at the academy.
They had a really neat slide show of the whole class we got to enjoy. As each graduate was given a badge, their pictures were flashed up on a big screen with their name.

Last time class 878 will retire the city's colors. Allen is second from the left on the back row.

Showing off the badge.

Allen asked his Dad to pin his badge on for the first time.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you Officer Allen LaMunyon!