Party On!

We have a lovely home.  It’s quite a bit bigger than the home we lived in for 21 years where my kids pretty much grew up.

Our home in Murray was nice….. We did a bunch of remodeling when we bought it…. But it wasn’t what I would call ‘roomy’.  It was adequate for our family, but not really big enough for the kids to have a large group of friends over and feel like they had room for everybody.  At least not to their standards.  When you have friends who have larger homes than yours with lots of room for partying…. Then doing it at your own home isn’t as appealing.

I would have loved to have to kids bring their friends over while they were growing up, but it always seemed they preferred to go the homes that were a little larger than ours.

The party gang!

Well…. Now we have a lovely home with a very large family room with a second kitchen… perfect for parties…. But we just haven’t had many parties here!  Family gatherings…. but not parties.

Tonight…. My son and his friends decided to have their Halloween get together at our house.  I mentioned yesterday how great Nate was about helping to get the house cleaned up for it.  And now…. We, my husband and I, are sitting upstairs doing our thing…. (reading, blogging, etc.) and we can hear the laughter of voices coming from the basement!  It’s a great feeling.

As much as we enjoy our peace and quiet here in this little Senior Community…. It’s great to have the sound of people having a good time ringing through our walls.

I’m grateful that we finally have a place large enough that our kids want to have a get together with their friends here.  Our intention when we finished off the basement here was to have a nice big room that we could get the whole family together in and enjoy the space.  Since our family numbers have not been increasing…. (Meaning we have no grand children and there are none on the horizon…..  Of course, Mom, being old fashioned, would prefer a few weddings first…..)  it’s nice to put that great family room to use.

I’m grateful to be so blessed with a lovely home…  a home that our kids enjoy being in.  One that I hope they will continue to feel they can bring their friends to and enjoy!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Helping Hands

It’s amazing what things get done around the house when you know you are having company.  Especially when the company’s not yours…. and your son prefers the house to be in order for his friends.

Our son, Nate is having a Halloween party here tomorrow night.  The basement hasn’t really been cleaned well since he moved back in with us a few months ago.  There were still a few of his personal items that hadn’t found a home.  They are still in a ‘temporary’ place for now…. but at least they are out of sight!

He informed me yesterday that Saturday would be the only day he had time to help clean since he was working on Monday till pretty late.  Of course, he wanted my help.  But…. I must say…..  I was very impressed and proud about how much of it he did on his own.  Even to the point of moving the big sectional couch out of  the way so the floors could be swept and cleaned under neath.  We have cork flooring through out our basement…. so a vacuum, broom and a Swiffer was all we needed!

He moved the furniture and vacuumed the floor while I followed with the Swiffer.  Then, he surprised me even further by pulling out the attachment to the vacuum and using it to dust the book shelves and a few other furniture items.  I was pleased and amazed with the amount of work he put into making it look nice down there.

I still have a few things to do to finish up the cleaning down there, but not much….. and then I need to do the same upstairs.  But, I really can’t say how much I appreciate his help in the basement.  I think he was even a little surprised at how much time it took…  Maybe he should have parties here more often!  <grin>

I’m grateful for the helping hands that Nate gave yesterday and I know the help that I will get from my hubby tomorrow to finish the job upstairs.  It’s always nice to have everything fresh.  It feels much better having company over when it is!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

What Time Is It? Time To Get Creative!

For those of you that follow my blog and have read the ‘About’ section on me…. you know that one of my hobbies is making jewelry.  Though I haven’t done it much for a while….  lately, thanks to being inspired by my talented friend Lyn…..  I got the urge to do it again!

This round all started by me wanting to make an interchangeable watch band similar to one that a friend of mine was wearing a few weeks ago.  I loved the color scheme and it seemed to be a bit Halloweeny…. ( though not completely…) and I wanted one to wear to church on Sunday.

I love these colors together!

So yesterday morning, I headed to the basement with all the extra trinkets I needed to put a watch band together….. expecting to be only 1/2 hour or so.   Several hours later I emerged from the basement with not only the watchband….. but a matching necklace and earrings!!  That was NOT in the plan for the day!  But I had SO much fun designing and making it!  It was actually quite relaxing from my everyday routine.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

I had plans a few years ago to kind of really get into the jewelry making hobby.  I was just really getting interested in it and wanted to learn more about it when my daughter lost her job.  In an effort to help her try to make some money…..  I suggested that she think about becoming a Lia Sophia representative.  I had a friend who was selling it and quite enjoying it.  At the time, her daughter was a Regional Manager for Lia Sophia.  Mandy and I met her for lunch one day and asked a few questions.

Mandy decided to give it a try….. though I must say….. it was really me wanting her to try more than her wanting it herself.  Her life was in a little bit of turmoil at the time that I wasn’t really aware of…. so I think she did it more to please me.  Of course…. she being a little short on money…. Mom paid for her starter kit and hosted her first party!    Which of course meant that I purchased even more jewelry!

It didn’t make much sense to me to pick up the hobby of jewelry making when my daughter was trying to sell a professional brand of jewelry.   So… the hobby kind of went on the back burner.  Though Mandy’s jewelry career was short lived….  I had other things enter my life that required more attention from me.  But my recent time with Lyn and all her cute Persnickety Things sparked the desire to be ‘creative’!

Here's another view showing the watch with one side unhooked. It's funny.... but the 'orange' beads aren't really orange.... they are more of a golden color.... but they sure look orange here!

So creative I was!  And it was a blast!  I’m grateful that I had a reminder of how much I enjoy doing it.  Though I have no intention of spending hours at jewelry making…. I would like to work in a couple of hours a week of fun with it!!  Then I’ll be left with the problem of trying to decide what to do with all my creations!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Here’s a few more samples of my latest stuff.  I made Mother’s Necklaces for myself and my friend.

Here's what the names look like up close. They seem to show up better on a white background.
If you look close.... you can see the names of the kids in the square silver beads

Sleepy Hollow

Do you all remember the tale of Sleepy Hollow?  The story of Icabod Crane and the Headless horseman?  Most of us are probably familiar with the Disney cartoon version……  which makes a very short story of it all.

Having never read the complete story by Washington Irving…. I can’t comment much on the original story.  I do know that the version I saw this evening…. a musical version written by Jim Christian with music by Tom Edward Clark…..  was an extended tale of the story with new characters and story lines developed my Christian.

The first time I saw this version was two years ago when it premiered at Weber State University.  It was a student production that was directed by Christian.  Jim always seems to pull together great talent for his shows.  The students at Weber State must learn well from him.  Of course, great talent is drawn to great teachers…. that could have something to do with it.

I enjoyed Weber’s version of it 2 years ago.  It was exciting to meet the new characters and follow the new storyline.  The twists and turns that it took at the end were surprising….. which gave the story a new exciting punch.

The music in this version is a little more difficult that many musicals.  Let’s just say…. it’s not your standard Rogers and Hammerstein easy to sing songs!  The difficulty of the music calls for a vocally talented cast.  For the most part the vocals were fairly strong in the version I saw this evening at Centerpoint Legacy Theater.

It was interesting to see the show after two years, knowing how it would end this time.  I looked at each character a little closer than the first time I saw it. I wanted to see if I noticed any little indications of the events that were about to unfold.  I don’t believe I saw anything that would give the story away.

The scenery and special effects that were done were great.  I think the kids around me were pretty intrigued by what they saw.  It makes a nice edition to anyone’s Halloween events.

I’m glad we got to see it again tonight.  It’s always fun to add  something a little ‘scary’ to this time of year. (Not too scary though… I don’t do really scary!)   Kudos to Jim for writing a script with intrigue and mystery and for making the Legend of Sleepy Hollow live on!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Medical Professionals

I recently read a letter from my nephew who is serving a mission in the Phillapines.  He talked about an experience he just went through with a member of his ward that was having a serious medical issue.

Part of the letter talked about how hard it was to get this man help and then once he was at the hospital…. that the nurses wouldn’t even do the things they were suppose to do to keep him alive.  Now…. I don’t know all the details….  but I do know that I could tell in his letter that he didn’t feel the medical care the man received was very good.

It made me wonder that if the same health condition had happened to this man here in the states….. would he have received better care?  The man died, by the way.  Could his health have improved to a full recovery if given the kind of care that he most likely would have received here?  Again…. I don’t know all the details…. his letter didn’t get that specific.  But it did make me grateful for the medical care we can receive here in the USA. 

I know that there is a lot of debate and controversy about our health care system.  However…. I believe the debate is about how that care ought to be paid for, etc. …. not about the capabilities of the doctors giving the care.  We may need some kind of medical reform here….  we made need to make health care more affordable…..  but at least our doctors and health care professionals are trained to take care of our medical needs….. not just walk away and refuse to administer to our medical needs.

I’m not here to get into a debate about whether or not you think health care needs reform or whether or not you think they administer unnecessary treatment…. all of those things are debatable.  My point is…. that I’m grateful that our doctors are trained to give the best of care they know how.  And that we have clean and modern facilities to take care of that.

I’m not one who likes to go to the doctor much or take prescriptions.  I prefer to do more preventative care by taking care of myself or by natural healing ….  but…. If I were ever in a serious accident or needed immediate medical care here in the USA….  I wouldn’t hesitate getting it.

That’s not to say that many other countries don’t have great doctors and medical care for it’s citizens.  I’m sure there are many who do.  And to those doctors and professionals… I’m grateful for you too!  It’s possible you could be caring for someone I care about sometime.

My gratitude for well trained and caring Medical Professionals goes well beyond the U.S. borders.  I’m grateful for the time all of you took to learn your profession and to administer it well and with care.  I have been around doctors who’s attitude was a little cold…. and I must say…. I prefer one who has a genuine concern for your welfare!  It makes the healing process much more pleasant!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Good Timing

Once again…. we have been watched over.  Of course it happens all the time….. more than we all realize.  But when it’s obvious….. we definitely notice!

We’ve put around 2000 miles on our car in the last month.  A lot of traveling.  The close call incidence that happened to me right before we left that I blogged about a few weeks ago…..  forced us to get new tires for the car.  It was a good thing too…. with all the traveling we did…. It made the car’s ride much smoother than it had been in a long time.

We’ve been having a ‘starting’ issue with the car for a while.  Sometimes it takes up to 30 times or so to try and start the car before it will start.  Other times it starts right off the first time.  My husband has done everything he could to try and figure out the problem….. he’s a mechanic….. but he hasn’t been able to determine the problem yet.

Luckily on the trip, we didn’t have too many problems with the car starting.  We had some…. but we never had a time when it wouldn’t start.  But…. I’ve worried that it would decide to be a permanent problem at an inconvenient time.  Like…. while we were gone!  But we had a safe trip with no incidences…. which I’m very grateful for!

However….. today as we were leaving the temple…. we had a major issue.  The car started after a few trys….. but then we had a warning on the dash that the engine was ‘running on reduced power’.  It was sputtering and missing.  It almost sounded like we’d have to push the car home!  Luckily…. it went into what my husband referred to as ‘limp home mode’….. which is pretty much what we did….. limp home!!  But at least we made it!  Thanks heavens we are only a few miles from the temple.

Though John hasn’t figured out the problem yet and the car seems to be working fine now….. (which is so typical….right?)  I’m SO grateful that it didn’t happen while we were on our trip!  There’s nothing worse than having car trouble on the road.  Even worse is knowing that you (my husband anyway)….. could most likely fix the problem, but having no access to a place or equipment to do that can be frustrating!  He doesn’t like paying others for things he knows he can do himself.

At least we are out of the blue for now….. hopefully he can figure it soon.  We have no plans to travel for a while…. so if it happens again…. we shouldn’t be too far from home!  I’m grateful John is a mechanic!  It has saved us a lot of money over the years.  Though it’s not a ‘hobby’ that he just loves to do…. he was an automotive teacher, so teaching it was a career…..  he does it when he needs too.  I’m grateful for that ability.

Thankfully we didn’t get stuck somewhere today and we made it home.  Slow….. ‘Limp home mode’ …..  but we made it!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Miracle of Life

Yesterday…. I posted about being grateful to breathe!  It got me thinking…. about the whole body thing and all.  I’ve blogged about being grateful for a few body parts in the past (ie., legs, eyes…etc.)  …. but for some reason…  I started envisioning a baby when I was thinking about the body, which led me to think about the miracle of life.

I try to look for signs that you are doing what you should be doing.  They aren’t always obvious.  Then today…. someone posted a picture on FB that was a confirmation to me that I needed to be grateful for the Miracle of Life!

A few years ago…. we had a traveling exhibit called Body Worlds come through Salt Lake that was on exhibit at the Leonardo Museum.   It was actual cadavers that science had used to show the wonders of the body.  They preserved the bodies with a technique called plastination, which allows them to reveal the inner anatomical structure of the body.  They were put into beautiful poses where you could see all of the muscles in the body.  Sometime they bodies were split in half or opened up so you could see where the organs would be.

I suppose some people would find this whole idea gory…. but I was fascinated by it!  It’s so amazing to see how the inside of the body works.  One of the most fascinating areas to me was the one where they showed the growth of an embryo inside a mother’s womb.  They had one at every stage in pregnancy so you could see how the body developed each month.  It was a testimony to me that there really is a little human inside the mother’s womb at very early on!  It was intriguing.  I’ve seen pictures, sketches of each stage of a babies development… but to see an actual ‘baby’ was amazing to me!

Another fascinating part to me was a display that showed ONLY the blood vessels inside the head.  There were millions of them!  I’ll never know how they did it…. but it was fascinating to see blood vessels seemingly ‘floating’ in the air in the shape of a head.  Amazing.  It’s things like this that really are a testament to the miracle of life!

Have you ever just stared at a healthy newborn baby and been amazed at how every little tiny body part on them is perfect?  I can remember just studying the tiny feet of each of my kids.  Looking at each toe, and the creases on the bottom of their feet….  Looking at their hands.  How long the fingers were…..  Perfect little noses and eyes and ears……  It was all perfect and amazing to me.    What a beautiful thing!

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m so grateful for the miracle of life!  I’m grateful that I was able to be a small part of that miracle 3 times and each time was blessed with a beautiful healthy child!  How blessed we are to have an amazing body that was created by our Maker.  How can you not know that it was all designed by a greater power?

It should give us all cause to take the time and effort needed to take care of the beautiful body we’ve each been given….. to take care of this miracle of life!  So much of that can be done by just the personal choices we make.

I hope you’ll take the time to take care of your body and the wonderful Miracle of Life you’ve been blessed with!  YOU are a miracle!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Here are a couple of videos regarding the Body Worlds Tour.  They were filmed a few years ago.  I hope you find them fascinating.

Breathing!

Well…. obviously I wouldn’t be alive if I couldn’t breathe!  However…… what I’m really referring to here is being able to breathe well enough that I don’t need to open my mouth to get enough air!

I hate being plugged up in the nose!  Certain times of year are worse than others.  And I’m finding that certain areas of the country can make it worse than others too.

During our travels the last few weeks…. it seemed that I had more trouble breathing at night time than I normally do at home.  I hate not breathing well at night!  I wake up with a parched mouth from it hanging open all night…. it’s not a fun thing!  The last few nights since we’ve been home, I’ve been breathing better and I’m so grateful!  It makes sleeping much more pleasant!

Breathing is something we just take for granted until we have a hard time doing it.  It’s just a function of our body, like many others, that just happens without much of our attention.

I’m grateful that my breathing is mostly a mindless, natural thing for me!  But I’m especially grateful when my sinuses are clear enough to breath with my mouth closed!  But, then again….. even if I had to breathe through my mouth…. I’d be grateful for that!  It’s better than the alternative!

I am Grateful!  How are you!

Where Are YOU on the Path?

I had another epiphany today.  Sort of anyway.  It’s not that I haven’t really known this before…. it’s just that while listening to a talk in our Regional Conference today, it created a vision in my head.

We are all at different points on this path of life.  Some of us have been on the path a lot longer than others.  Some have chosen a different path than I have.  Although our paths are different and we are at different points in the path…. I still believe there are certain things on everyone’s path that will present themselves when we are ready for them.

I’m sometimes amazed at how much I have learned in just the last year or two.  I often wonder:  “What the heck took you so long?”  I’m not sure of the answer to that other than maybe I wasn’t ready to be as receptive to certain things as I am now.  Perhaps it’s just taking the time to ‘tune in’ to what you are sensing and feeling.  I’ve found that when our focus shifts to things more meaningful…. that we are usually more receptive or even just recognize what we are suppose to be paying attention to.

Imagine two parallel lines of the same size.  Let’s say they represent ‘the path’ we are all taking.  Though I’m describing separate lines…. those lines represent the same path….  it just represents 2 different people on the path.   Now imagine a dot in the center of the top line.  It represent  how far along that path person A has gone.  The dot on the bottom line is only about 1/4 of the way along and it represents person B.  Now they are both walking the same path…. but they left at different times, so person A is further along on the path than person B.

Will they both eventually see the same things along the path?  Probably….. but perhaps in different seasons and different circumstances.  There may be things along the path to distract one person while the other person doesn’t seem to notice them.  Will their journey be the same?  No…..  will they experience some of the same things?  Probably.  But the path is the same, the scenery is the same.

Let’s say that there are parts of the path that you need to experience in order to understand things that you will see further down the path.  If you don’t experience those things earlier…. you won’t recognize and understand the things further down the path.  But…. at some point in your path, you finally understand and recognize those things.  Person A would most likely experience them sooner than person B.  Logically speaking.  But is it possible, that if this pathway is something that is not measured how far along we are by our age…  but rather our experience…. could person B catch up to person A?  I believe they can.

If this all sounds confusing to you…. what I’m trying to say is…. that though I may have taken years to get to the point of being receptive and open and ready for the things I am experiencing and learning now…..  I believe that someone much younger than I can also reach that point if they have the desire to move along that path a little quicker than I did.  If they allow themselves to be open and focus on things that matter…..  they can experience things at a much younger age than I did and thereby benefit from it for a longer time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is….. if you want your life to improve, then you need to be paying attention to signs and signals around you that may be leading you to move along that pathway a little quicker so that you can gain the knowledge you need so that when you reach that learning point…. you’ll know it’s there to improve your life.  Allowing unnecessary distractions in our life will make that happen a lot slower.  I don’t mean to offend anyone here…. there is a time and a place for entertainment…..  but I think too many of us spend too much time being ‘entertained’ when our lives would be much better served if we would take that time to study and learn and then act upon what we have learned.  In other words…. turn off the TV and open a book!  And not just a novel….  something that can teach you what you need to know.

I’m not saying that you should never watch TV or never read a novel…. I just think most of us spent too much time doing trivial activities that don’t push us along the path of self improvement.

I”m still learning…. I’m still trying to get myself into action….. but I love what I am learning and enjoy the sense of purpose I feel in affecting other peoples lives just by being an example of what improving your own life can be.

I’m grateful that I feel I have reached a point in my path where I just want to stop and learn and absorb all that I can.  There’s so much the path can teach me…. so much that I just walked by earlier.  I’m glad to be learning, absorbing and sharing.  If we ever reached the point in life where we think we have learned it all…. we are in BIG trouble!

So where are YOU on the path?  Have you reached the point where you are seeing signs around you that you need to stop and learn what you can so that the rest of your path can be more meaningful?  Sometimes all we need to do is just step back and, as an old Irving Berlin song said….. ‘Stop… Look…. Listen!”   Pay attention to where your path is leading and what you need to do to be on the path of self improvement.

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Dixie Days

Do you have memories of good times and friends from long ago?  Most of us probably do.  High School friends, college friends or even friends from any group of people that you were around a lot.

I have great friends from High School and College that still mean the world to me.  So does my husband.  However…. because of the circumstances…. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to get to know his friends from Dixie College really well.  They were a part of a group at Dixie known as Program Bureau which was directed by Roene DiFore.  I blogged about Roene a while back.  She was an amazing lady and brought together students from the college by giving them a class where they learned standard and fun songs with many of the lyrics changed to fit the Dixie Spirit.  Actually….. Program Bureau really became the Dixie Spirit!

These classes traveled around a little to perform for others.  Through those travels and also just getting to be good friends in class… they all became very close to each other.  Close enough that they wanted to maintain contact with each other.  Part of the success in that was Roene always inviting former students back every Spring and Fall during D-week and Homecoming to come to what she called ‘Midnight PB’ and sing all the old songs they sang when they were there.  It was a good excuse to get together a few times a year.

However, this group of friends has made an effort to meet together a little more often when they can.  We’ve spent New Year’s Eve with several of them that live in the Salt Lake area several times.  They are a fun group and I really enjoy being with them.  They’ve always made me feel a part of them, even though I never attended Dixie.

This weekend….  Dixie was celebrating their 100 year Anniversary.  So there were a few more activities and more effort made by many to come participate in them.  Luckily… we were on our way back from Phoenix and it fit right to stop for another day and ‘meet with the old gang’.

Though we didn’t attend everything…. we were able to attend the activities that were important to us, including last night at the BBQ at the Alumni house with the friends from the years John was there.  We had a great time.   Many had brought some old pictures they’d taken while they were in college.  Unfortunately…..  John never took any….. so it was fun to see the pictures others had taken.  And there were many with him in it.  It was fun to see him in those shots.  I didn’t meet John till several years after he attended Dixie…. so it was fun to see how cute he was!  (And still is of course!)  No wonder all the girls had a crush on him!

Then, this afternoon, we had another get together with many of those same people by having a luncheon at the home of Rick and Sheri Nielson’s home.  Rick and Sheri were at Dixie with the rest of the gang, and they opened up their beautiful home over in the Green Springs area to us for the luncheon.  Again…. we had a great time.  Got to hear Lou, Sue and Sharon sing and recorded my husband singing “Long Tall Texan/ Short Fat Utahn”  that he used to sing with PB.   We also played a little trivia by asking questions about things that happened during those Dixie days to see who knew the answers.  They were a crazy bunch back then…. did some pretty crazy things.  You’d think they must have been young back then or something!

I’m so grateful that John had the experiences he had in college and made such marvelous friends and that we can get together often and have such fun.  I love these great people!  It makes me wish that I made more of an effort to get together with some of my old college friends!

Though we’ll miss the activities this evening…… including Midnight PB…(which starts at 9pm now!)….  I’m thankful for Dixie celebrations that bring us all together and I’m grateful to his friends for making me feel like such a big part of them!  Love those Dixie Days!

I am Grateful!  How are you?