Thursday, October 25, 2007

Three Missing Posts

I was talking to Mom today and she told me that she and Dad spent a couple hours last night reading my blog all the way back to August sometime. She was talking about all the posts, and loved seeing pictures of everyone. As I asked her about different ones, she'd say, "oh yes..." and then we'd talk about them. It was fun. But she didn't remember any of Noah's party when I asked her about them...or about the professional pictures of Toby., I was kind of looking back, and imagined her reading the posts and looking at the pictures, and I noticed they weren't on there. So, I looked at my "edit post" page, and there were 4 drafts for the same week. I remember I was having lots of trouble getting the pictures to show up bigger if you clicked on them. I had a super long post about "Saturday in the Valley" that I tried and tried to fix. That one still isn't working. But I finally figured out how to fix three of the posts.
So....if you would like ...there are three more posts that just showed up.
They are on 9/5, 9/7 and 9/11/2007. (one about our Utah trip, one of Toby's pics, and one of Noah's birthday) I'll get the other one figured out soon.
Things I want to remember, but also thought those who read this might like to know, in case they'd like to take a peek.
I'm learning this Blogger-thingy. Slow but sure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Birthdays for Brothers

Kelly and I both have "little brothers" who celebrate birthdays on October 21st. Kelly is the oldest of four boys. In birth order...Kelly, Mark, Corey and Bob. (But in this's Kelly, Bob, Corey and Mark. Go figure.) Well, it was Corey's birthday Sunday. He is officially old now. (I can say that because I'm two years older) He lives in Vancouver, Washington. He has a great wife, Terri, and two beautiful daughters. Corey loves to fish. And according to my father-in-law, Corey is one of the greatest fishermen in the Northwest. I don't doubt it. I've enjoyed his bounty before.
Corey's voice sounds EXACTLY like Kelly's. It's hilarious. He has quite a "colorful" vocabulary sometimes, and the kids' heads turn pretty quickly when they think it's their dad.
Kelly's brothers are a fun, crazy bunch. It is quite the party when they get together. Miss all you guys!

And my 'little brother', Ken also celebrated a birthday. I miss him tons and love to talk with him. He lives in a beautiful area northwest of Columbus. I love to visit there. His wife, Michele,was his high school sweetheart and I am absolutely crazy about his two boys, Ian and Nathan. I could hang out with them for hours and never stop laughing or learning.
Ken is the smartest person I know. I have said that for years and years. I've met lots of people and I still think it's true. I think it started when he was about six and would read our World Book encyclopedias and reference picture books for fun. He knows something about just about everything. Bring up the history of Zimbabwe, or ham radios, or what made the Big Red Machine so great in the 70's, or New Zealand sheep. Just anything. You'll learn something. I promise. But he is a humble guy and you have to get him talking and then just listen. Just enjoy.
However, he is anything but a nerd. He's a sports nut, and likes a good fart joke better than just about anybody. I know this and love to listen to him tell jokes. I try and get him going and then just enjoy his laughter. I got him a gift a couple of years ago that I KNEW he would love. No question about it. And he did. It was a book of gross was a scratch and sniff book. smart brother is and will always be about 11 years old as far as his humor goes.
One more reason to love him. Happy Birthday Ken!!!

Two Years for Lo & J....(otherwise known as J-Lo)

Yesterday marked two years since Laurie and Jeremy were married in the Columbus Ohio Temple. What a FUN day that was! They are back in C-bus now. Jeremy is working at Verizon and Laurie is a Certified Nursing Assistant at a nursing home, overseeing the work of other CNA's.
I miss you both so much. It's so fun to have you around. You have grown together and it is great to see what wonderful friends you are to each other.
I'm so excited we might have you here for Thanksgiving!!!
Enjoy each other!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A complete 180.....

First of all, I posted SIX times tonight. Blogger will only let me put four pictures on each post. I couldn't decide, so I used them all. get this in order, go down to "They Left the Light on For Me"...with a picture of a bed with a quilt. And read up. It may make more sense. a rebel and read from here down. We all need a little excitement in our life.

The reason I put this picture up (click on it to view it larger), is while I was driving the back roads Thursday afternoon, I saw all kinds of signs. Some showed just a slight curve coming up, some showed a winding road, and I saw a number of these. Showing I must follow the road and turn completely in the opposite direction.
I thought about my life. Sometimes a slight curve is all I need. Just change something a little bit. Do a little better. Try a little harder.
Sometimes, I am on a winding road. Up and down, twists and turns. I must hold on to the wheel, and pay attention so I don't swerve off the road. Soon things will straighten out again.
And sometimes, I know I must completely turn the other way. That I need to change direction.
I want to stay on the road. I want to enjoy my journey. I am grateful for the road signs in my life.

Sherando Lake

I had a fantastic time walking around here. Sherando Lake was peaceful. I refused to look at my watch and purposely left my phone in my car. (altho I don't think I would have had service here anyway)
I walked. I sat. I thought. I relaxed. heard that right. I relaxed.
And it was wonderful.

October Road

There is a song by James Taylor called "October Road".

Sweet call of the countryside
Go down slow. open wide.

Keep me walking, october road.
Keep me walking in the sunshine, yeah
A little friend of mine
October road

I love the October roads I explored Thursday. Didn't mind getting lost. Every curve brought new beauty.

Ended up at Sherando State Park. Drove some more...and came upon this. Near the lake. I got out and spent about an hour exploring around here. If you click on can see a couple taking a hike. They got out of their car near mine. They are about 65-70 years old. They both have walking sticks. And they were laughing together. I watched them walk into the woods. Together. And I was anxious to get home.

The Lord's Canvas

Beauty at the side of the road.

After the morning business meeting and lunch, it was time to pack up and go. I decided to explore a little. I drove the back roads, and got a little lost (so fun!) and was filled with wonder and gratitude that I am able to be surrounded by His creations. Tender feelings of love for my Savior and for my Heavenly Father came easily. I felt so bad for the times I don't recognize the wonderful blessings I have been given.
I drove in the quiet. No radio. Just by myself. I drove with the windows down most the time, too, just to feel the refreshing fall breeze and to smell the clean mountain air.

Three degrees of glory.


Sat on a rock at this spot awhile. Quiet. I took time to reflect on good times, took time to dream a little. Prayed a bit. I will remember this spot. It will call me again.

More Wintergreen Stuff

All ready for an autumn fire.

I kept mum about how cool my "condo" was that I was staying in. I wanted to surprise Drew after he showed me his standard hotel room. Well, that kind of fell through, because after the evening meeting and dinner, we went up to Drew's room. It was fantastic, too. Not a condo, but a WAY cool room. A loft, kitchen, two beds, kitchen, table and chairs and a living room.

Here he is singing to his momma on his guitar. I was all excited because I thought I knew who sang the song he was singing. I said, "Hey...I know who sings that. It's "T-Shirt for Cutie". He cracked up. He said, "Close. It's 'Plain White Tees'. Maybe you are confusing that with the group 'Death Cab for Cutie'." Oh well...for a second there ...I ALMOST was cool.

This was carved into the inside of the nightstand drawer in my room. He saw it, and said..."It was Michelle. I promise."
(They were always writing stuff and blaming each other for it. Drew did it more than Michelle. He even blamed her when he tried to write her name on the wall. He wrote something like MICELL. In his little handwriting. And she was too little to do any more than scribble out an M.)

My little house in the big woods.

They Left the Light on For Me....

This past Wednesday and Thursday I was at the Wintergreen Resort south of Waynesboro, VA. A company our agency writes with, Loudoun Mutual Insurance, was having its annual Agent Meeting. Drew's company also represents Loudoun, so he was there, too! How cool.
I registered only about two weeks before, and was told they weren't sure if I could get a room. (I was hoping I could...since they were paying for everything) They called me back and said everything was set and they did some rearranging and found a room for me. So....when I went there, and they told me I wouldn't be staying in the main building, but had to drive down this lane, and turn this corner, etc., I thought, "Great. I wonder what this will be like." worries, it was perfect. A beautiful condo in the woods. I almost could hear it whisper, "Diane...come on in. Forget all troubles tonight. Be wrapped in a beautiful quilt and watch the trees out the window. All is well."
Anyway...thought I would post a few pictures of my "room".

Working fireplace, with wood stacked outside....a living room, and kitchen table, tv with dvd, books, games, etc.

Full kitchen...dishwasher, frig, stove, fully stocked with any kitchen thingy you'd need. Inside the closet was a washer and dryer.

This is part of the deck off the kitchen. Quiet. Woods all around. Fun. Thanks, Loudoun! (And the meetings and meals were great, too!)


I dropped off Josh this morning for band. When I picked him up....he had long hair! Wow....his hair DOES grow fast!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Contrasts in Time

I was deep in the hills of West Virginia a few days ago. Actually, a small town called Ronceverte. I came up to this intersection and saw this log cabin. If you click on it, you can see it much better. Do you see the little sign?? Built in 1770!
I looked at it, with cars going by, the speed limit sign, electric wires, an Econo Lodge down the road...and thought about another time. Almost two and a half centuries ago! Just think of all that hadn't happened yet! The Declaration of Independence hadn't even been written! I imagined what it must have looked like around there back then. And how isolated these people probably were. I guess that isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you are with those you love and feel safe and happy.
I took out my digital camera, while I sat in my warm, dry car...and snapped an instant picture. And thought again of my brothers and sisters....who just happened to come to earth a few hundred years before me.
1770. Wow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Against the Wind

This was typed and tucked into a note that Larry Harris wrote to me a few years ago. It was right after Kelly was diagnosed with Parkinson's and we were trying to figure out medicines, treatments, etc. It was a difficult road. Kelly was discouraged. It was hard seeing him like that because he is usually very optimistic. He has a terrific doctor and now feels much more like himself as he stays with his routine and medicines. We are being blessed in this area of our lives and we recognize it.

But...during that difficult time....this message spoke to my heart. Thought I would post it.

(It was quoted by Dallin H. Oaks in a talk called "Adversity". He attributed it to Elaine Cannon.)

"An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this maelstrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.
But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.
'You always found the Herefords alive and well,' said the cowboy. 'I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies - just face life's storms.'"

I read this again the other day and can't get it out of my mind. I just want to say thank you to all who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me. I know many of you look at this now and then...and you know who you are. Most of husband and children. Thanks, guys.
But there are others. And I love you and appreciate your shoulders next to mine.
We can face the wind together.

Bells in Harmony

It has been a stressful day. You all know what I'm talking about. The kind where you just want to get home, pet your dogs, get some comfy pajama pants on and feel safe and warm in your cocoon. That is what I thought I needed tonight. But I was wrong.

I had to take our Young Women to hear one of them, Elizabeth, play in her middle school bell choir. was absolutely great being with the youth. Somehow teenagers can lift me like no other group. (maybe because deep down, I'm still 14?) Anyway, it was so fun being with them.

The music was incredible. I've always enjoyed bell choirs, and this one has only been together about six or seven weeks. They were great! The melodies filled my heart. Afterward, Elizabeth taught me how to do a "wah-wah" with one of her bells. I think I'll just let you wonder about that one. I could have listened to lots more, but the concert was only about 25 minutes.

Then we all went back to the church and had fun planning together. I left happy and laughing. Josh, Pam and Mark were all talking outside. Then Josh got in the car, but jumped out to say something to Pam. Just then Mark came over to talk to me. I asked him when he was going to come over and hang out again. He said "How about now?" So we took off. We came right back, and Pam and Josh had grabbed some window writing markers from her car and were starting to write all over Mark's car. I shined my brights on them. Then Mark got out and they all started writing on my car. It was funny. (although I really don't think you are supposed to do that to someone's car when they are sitting behind the wheel WATCHING the whole thing!)

When we got home, Josh did a quick Algebra worksheet and we were just getting ready to read scriptures when Josh said someone knocked on the door. I didn't think so...because the dogs hadn't budged. But I went and looked anyway. There was Drew. He said "Someone order a pizza?" as he held out a box of hot Domino's pizza. He is "moonlighting" for awhile. So...after wearing a suit and being an insurance executive during the day...he dons the garb of the pizza dude and drives around Harrisonburg. I guess there was a mess-up and they had an extra pizza. Woo-hoo! He took a couple of pieces and left the rest for us. He stayed awhile and made us all laugh.

Then we read a little bit in John, had family prayer, and Josh went off to bed. Kelly went downstairs to watch a little of the Indians-Red Sox game.

I straightened up a little. And I realized I felt calm and content.

Anyway.....the point is.....sometimes just doing what we have promised to do brings great joy and peace. Even more than jammie pants.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Central Virginia Competition

This picture is rather dark....but this is the Turner Ashby Marching Knights in competition on October 6th in Salem Stadium. Salem is down by Roanoke, and about 30 miles north of Virginia Tech. There were 13 bands in all. Since we were the ONLY band in our "district".....we came in first in EVERYTHING! But, seriously, they did fantastic! Their scores were better than last week, and the crowd seemed to love them. They looked very classy and when they came into view and onto the field, they did so with precision, the drums keeping cadence. It was an enjoyable day. The shows were great. The National Anthem was at 5pm, and we left for Harrisonburg at 9:30. We got home about midnight. We had recorded the Ohio State game...and watched that until almost 3am! I think I'm nuts.

See that cute bass drum player? The second biggest drum? Yep....that's Josh!

Here he comes again.

At one point the bass drums come off the field, take off their hats and drums, and play with the percussion pit crew. Josh plays the chimes. (not sure if that's the "official" percussion term for them...but that's what they seem to me.)

October Flowers...

It was great seeing these beautiful flowers in October. These were at the little park in Salem.

Water Games in Salem....

Kelly, Chris and I drove about two hours south to Salem, Virginia on Saturday to watch the USSBA Central Virginia Marching Band Competition. We got there early enough to mosey along the streets of downtown Salem and explore. We came across this very nifty park right in the middle of town. There was a big pond with a walkway/bridge separating it into two pools of water. On one side....a lonely turtle. Look closely. This turtle is taking a VERY long shower.

And...on the other interesting and diverse group of ducks. They had to "team shower", there were so many. These two sure were enjoying the spray. may want to click on this one and look at it closer. This poor thing had quite an interesting headpiece. Kind of made him look like Rod Stewart or David Bowie (in the "old" days)

Some of the interesting clan. They all seemed to be enjoying their Saturday, too.
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Something to Think About.....

I have terrific friends, Karen and Larry Harris, who live just north of Salt Lake City. They were here in Virginia for five years, as he was serving as the CES director of seminaries and institutes in this area. I was early morning seminary teacher for five years, and had many occasions to be with Brother Harris. I learned something each and every time. He is not a tall man at all....but is a spiritual giant.

They visited us in June, and Megan and I stayed at their house in late August when I took her out to BYU. I love them both.

Every once in awhile he will email me something. He sent this yesterday. Hope you enjoy this list.

If you would be great if you would comment with YOUR age...and something you have learned.

So...I guess I'll start.

I'm a month shy of 51 and I have learned.....that a warm dog on your cold feet is a wonderful thing. (ok...not so profound...but it's 12:30 a.m. and my cold feet are getting warmed what do you expect?)

Now it's your turn...


I've learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we
sings "Silent Night".
Age 5

I've learned that our dog doesn't want to eat my broccoli
Age 7

I've learned that when I wave to people in the country, they
stop what they are doing and wave back.
Age 9

I've learned that just when I get my room the way I like it,
Mom makes me clean it up again.
Age 12

I've learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should
try cheering someone else up.
Age 14

I've learned that although it's hard to admit it, I'm secretly
glad my parents are strict with me.
Age 15

I've learned that silent company is often more healing than
words of advice.
Age 24

I've learned that brushing my child's hair is one of life's
great pleasures.
Age 26

I've learned that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers
have followed me there.

Age 29

I've learned that if someone says something unkind about me,
I must live so that no one will believe it.
Age 30

I've learned that there are people who love you dearly but
just don't know how to show it.
Age 42

I've learned that you can make some one's day by simply
sending them a little note.
Age 44

I've learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the
greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
Age 46

I've learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
Age 47

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems
today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
Age 48

I've learned that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits
for hours.
Age 49

I've learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away
from the phone.
Age 50

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he
handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and
tangled Christmas tree lights.
Age 51

I've learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a
medicine cabinet full of pills.
Age 52

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your
parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
Age 53

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as
making a life.
Age 58

I've learned that if you want to do something positive for
your children, work to improve your marriage.
Age 61

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
Age 62

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers
mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
Age 64

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.
But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your
work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can,
happiness will find you.
Age 65

I've learned that whenever I decide something with kindness,
I usually make the right decision.
Age 66

I've learned that everyone can use a prayer.
Age 72

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be
Age 82

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch
someone. People love that human touch-holding hands, a warm
hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Age 90

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Age 92

Friday, October 5, 2007

Visit from Aunt Chris

My Aunt Chris came to visit us for awhile. She came last Sunday night and will stay for about a week. We have had a super time together. It seems like both of us are going through some yuck right now, and we are easy on each other. Safe. Home. It's nice. And...she has helped a ton......with laundry, cooking, buying groceries, running around, helping with the dogs, at the office, all kinds of stuff. We are serious and solve the problems of the world together, and analyze things, and then, we end up in a little giggle-fest about bachelor pelicans. (I know....but it made sense then, I promise)

I like this picture of her....I think it captures her personality. And no....she's not "up a tree without a paddle". Well, I guess she technically is. But...she has a bow. And wouldn't that be more useful than a paddle??

Last night we sat at the crazy Heatwole Auction for more than two hours. We spent a whopping $1.00. Plus two hot dogs. Do we know how to party or what??? I hope her dreams come true soon. It's her time. I love you, Chris.