Monday, January 28, 2008

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet


President Gordon B. Hinckley
June 23, 1910 ~ January 27, 2008

Our dear prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away last night about 7:00 p.m., Mountain Time, in his apartment in Salt Lake City. He was surrounded by family members. He was 97 years old. People all over the world, both members and non-members of our Church, are mourning him today and remembering what a special man he was.

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the different faces of President Hinckley.



Above, he seems to be "knighting" Elder Henry B. Eyring, after Elder Eyring was called to serve in the First Presidency. This just seemed like President Hinckley....always having a good time.



I like this picture of President Hinkley's face....looking forward with confidence and determination.



Moses, Nephi, Joseph Smith....President Hinckley. Prophets of God.


Waving to the congregation. How he loved the children and youth of the Church. They all seemed to "know" their prophet...and love him. My children perked up whenever they saw him, or heard him speak....even when they were small. My daughter-in-law, Steph, called me today to tell me about telling Kimmi and Alli about it this morning. (they are 7 and 5). I guess Kimmi started crying....needed snuggles and comfort, and Alli was concerned. Drew and Steph were great in telling her that it is more happy than sad....but she loved him so. I remember us seeing him at the dedication of the Columbus Temple. It was thrilling for us all. Megan recently got to be with him in the Marriott Center at BYU, and listen to him leave a message for the students. She was so excited. He was so loved. What an ambassador for our Savior, Jesus Christ.



After General Conference, with his wonderful smile, waving his cane (which seemed to be its main purpose) and being followed by President Monson....a shadow of what would be.




This picture just moves me. A dad...surrounded by his loving children, at the funeral of his wife....their dear mother. He often talked of his devotion and love for Marjorie and seeing them together was precious.
Even knowing he would be with her, the separation was so painful. How difficult the last almost 4 years must have been for him without her. They were married in 1937. And now....can you imagine their sweet reunion?
I am simply overjoyed for him at this thought.


I take a moment to read in a little book called "Stand a Little Taller" almost every day. Each day there is a scripture and some words from President Hinckley.

Today's entry reads:

"Great is your power for good. Marvelous are your talents and devotion. Tremendous is your faith and your love for the Lord, for His work, and for His sons and daughters. Continue to live the gospel. Magnify it before all of your associates. Your good works will carry more weight than any words you might speak."
(That last line....THAT was President Hinckley)

Megan was the first to call me...from BYU. Cell phone lines were jammed in Provo and SLC with everyone calling after it came across the local news. She used her roommate's phone. Shane texted me and called me from Salt Lake City. Kelly, Josh and I stopped and offered a prayer. It was deeply felt that all was well....peacefulness settled in.

Throughout the next couple of hours, I spoke to each of my children, with them calling me or me calling them. I also spoke with my mom. We all felt the same thing....gratefulness, peace and the knowledge that we were blessed by having him so long.

Such love....we shall miss you, President Hinckley.
Thank you ...for your dedication, for your work, for your life.

And now.....the work continues.....because the Lord is in charge.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Did YOU Grow up in the 80's????




I was reading my friend Stephanie's blog recently. She is the daughter of one of my closest friends....yes, a DEB......and Stephanie and her sister Emily are the same age as my two oldest, Drew and Michelle. They kind of grew up together.
This list made me crack up.....I remember them doing these things!!!
I am really curious, though...what happened to #20????? What do YOU think it was? Comment and try to fill me in, if you can! Thanks, Steph...these are great!

You Know You Grew Up In the 80's if:

1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton.
3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom.
4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock".
5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House).
10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of "WAX ON - WAX OFF"
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe).
14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?".
23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up".
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You thought Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB".
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
33. You just sang those words to yourself.
34. You still sing "We are the World"
35. You tight rolled your jeans.
36. You owned a bannana clip.
37. You remember "Where's the Beef?".
38. You used to (and probably still do)say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?".
39. You're still singing "Shot Through the Heart" in your head, aren't you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Missin' My Boys...




This is Toby at our house at Thanksgiving... playing with the dogs. Don't you love that smile?

Can someone please "beam me up, Scotty" to Griffin, Georgia? I am missing Toby.....it's been two months since I've seen him. I need some Toby kisses. (He is 19 months in a few days)

And....then beam me over to Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Noah is changing every day. How I miss him! It's been almost a month since I've seen him! (He is 16 1/2 months old now!)

My arms and heart are aching for my grandsons. I am going to make sure I see them soon.
We'll watch Curious George or Diego (Toby likes the "mote" also known as the remote)
We will read books (Noah hugs his and gets out all his books every day) .... play in the tub....make a mess in the high chair....sing songs....dance.....take a walk....whatever. Nana and her little guys.
Can't wait.


Noah playing and laughing on Nana & Poppy's bed at Thanksgiving. Look at him holding his feet. He thought we were so funny.

Whew....what a week!

Updates:

Well, Sunday night's discussion at Church was incredible. Brother Doug Larson from Lexington/Buena Vista spoke. It was great. Josh really enjoyed it, too. He had a power point presentation...and in it he put up a picture of his mom and dad, who have passed away. He spoke quite a bit about his father. I raised my hand and asked him what his father's first name was. He said William. I told him that his father married Kelly and I in September of 1975 in the Washington DC Temple. After the discussion, we had a great time talking about that weekend. It was incredible. What fun it was to think about it all again.

Sunday night Kelly and I watched Mr. Deeds with Josh. What a great movie!! It is my FAVORITE Adam Sandler's movie. Really enjoyed watching that again.

Monday was just not fun. Received some bad news from an attorney in Ohio......an attorney that I now think perhaps we should have fired awhile back. It knocked me off my feet, along with some other things. Drew called during the lowest point, and I unloaded on him. Frustrations, fears, etc. What a terrific son I have. He told me "Why don't you come over tonight for Family Home Evening? Kimmi has the lesson." (for anybody not of the LDS faith reading this....we get together with our families one night a week...usually on Mondays, to just be together, talk about the gospel, have a fun activity and just enjoy each other. This happens lots of nights...but one is set aside...so nothing interferes. It's nice.) I told him I wasn't sure, but thanks. About 5:45...he called and I was still at the office. He asked me what I was doing for dinner....I said "making whatever I find at home." He asked Josh, Kelly and I to come to dinner with him and the fam. It was SO fun. And dinner tasted soooo good. It was just what I needed...to be with Drew, Steph, Kimmi and Alli. Fun times. Although Alli got sick.......several times. But she still wanted to be with all of us, and even "conducted" family home evening, with her dad helping her. Kimmi DID do the lesson...about Daniel in the Lion's Den. She was great. What a reader! Then we played a really fun "Go Fish" game about people and places and things from the Book of Mormon. What a smart girl. Josh and Kimmi tied.....with Drew, Kelly and I bringing up the rear. Steph was comforting Alli. Steph made yummy Rice Krispie Treats for everyone. I went home happy. Thanks, family.

Tuesday I worked hard at the office. I also had great long talks with Michelle, Jessie, Laurie and Meggie. My girls. Love them so much. Michelle actually felt a little better....and kept some soup down. Perhaps she will feel better when she gets through this first trimester. I hope so. Jessie was busy today....hope she gets a little nap. That pregnancy fatigue is killer. Meg is doing great. Making plans....setting some goals....having fun...and learning a lot. Laurie is incredible at what she does. She is doing private duty nursing now. She called me to find out how to make corn on the cob. She cooked her patient and her daughter pork chops, corn and baked potatoes. Yum.
Tuesday night, I was in charge of the Young Women's activity at Church. I did Let's Get "Purse-onal".....all about purses. Michelle gave me ideas for this and it went over GREAT! Thanks, 'chelle! I think the girls and the leaders had fun. I'm glad it's over......but it was fun for me, too!

Yesterday, I was working at the office, and my friend, Deb F. came over. (Sidenote: I guess if your name is Deb....it's a given that we are going to be great friends......Quite a few of my greatest friends are Debs. Deb C, Deb K, Deb F, Deb S.....etc. You know who you are. It's weird, because everywhere I've gone...especially at school and at different jobs, I've been called Deb or Debbie a lot. I have to correct them and tell them my name is Diane. I had one lady I worked for in Dayton, Ohio, named Bea. She ALWAYS called me Debbie....I finally decided to leave it alone. I was Debbie to her for several years...even tho' she heard everyone else call me Diane. Strange. Sorry for the ramble)
Anyway....my friend, Deb F., came into the office. She treated me to lunch at Asia Inn. Good times! Fun conversation and time to just relax. Love my buddies.
Josh and I went over to Hometown Music to see if they can fix his bongos. We went over to Petco. It was great hanging out with my son. I really like him.
Last night....Kelly, Josh and I watched American Idol. What a fun escape. Did anyone else think the female military pilot should have been sent on to Hollywood? What a rip-off.
Late last night, I was still downstairs.....and Josh had gone on to bed, and Kelly had gone up to get ready for bed. Drew stopped by late, after playing basketball at the church. Kelly came back downstairs and it was fun talking to our boy awhile.
Couldn't sleep at all last night. How do people turn their minds off? I've had a really hard time lately. This morning, I couldn't MOVE until about 8:15. Exhausted. Went to work awhile...then went over to my friend's house to drop something off and talk awhile. Yep....it was a DEB. Deb C. What a great friend.

Then back to work awhile. A long-time client came in. I love this guy. He's in his late 70's, I'd say. He works hard every single day. Today, he had been moving refrigerators. Yep...moving refrigerators. I said, "Richard....have you ever stopped for ONE day???" He said "Nope. And don't plan to. I'd just rust." Good point. He smiles ALL the time. Of course...he also owns 9 properties, has at least a million dollars in the bank, and has friends all over the valley. And has been married forever to his sweetheart. I love it when he comes in. Maybe I want to be Richard when I grow up.

Picked up Josh from musical practice at the high school. They are going to put on "South Pacific". Josh plays Quayle.....a sailor. That will be fun! Harrisonburg High School is putting on Beauty and the Beast. Our Young Women at church are going to attend both, since we have several girls in the musicals. Josh and I went over and looked at the stuff at the Thursday night auction. Had a few interesting things. Mostly it's the people that are interesting. But I am not going to go tonight. Don't want to spend anything....AND I have too much to get done here.

So why am I typing? I don't know. AND....I typed another boring "book". But I am doing this mostly for me to remember things....you are invited along for the ride...but I apologize for the mundane and everyday ramblings.

I need to go play with Sloopy. He keeps bringing me his toy. Crazy dog.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just some Weekend Rambles

Friday night, Kelly, Josh, his friend Zach and I all went to the First Ward's Chili Cook-off. Drew invited us to come and be with them. It was nice. Hearing Bishop Herrick, Brother Aamodt and Brother Adams play Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was a highlight. I enjoyed talking with some people I don't get to see that often, and of course being with Drew, Steph and the cutest little girls in the world was lots of fun. I got to hold little Henry Swinson for quite awhile. He is a fun little baby.

Afterwards Drew's family came over for awhile. Drew, Zach and Josh played "Rock Band" downstairs. It's an interactive video game....kind of like Guitar Hero, but there is a drum set, a guitar and vocals with a microphone. Just like you are actually playing in a band. Zach brought it over, along with his XBox 360, and it has been quite the hit. I had fun being with Steph and the girls while the guys played.

After they left, Kelly wanted to read awhile and I went downstairs and played with Josh and Zach. Made them popcorn and drinks. It was SO fun! We played until after midnight! I did vocals for 90% of the time. I had so much fun "rocking out" with the boys. I got a 100% on The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." (of course, I set it on Easy) I even think Josh was a bit surprised that his momma could "get down" a little. He is incredible on the guitar and the drums. He plays on "expert" all the time. Amazing.

Yesterday I got to the post office just as it closed, but finally got gifts off for Ammon and Laurie. While hurrying there, I got behind a convoy of horse and buggies, must have been eight buggies. I passed the farm where they were all gathering. By the way everyone was dressed, and there seemed to be just order, not much talking or laughter, I think it was a gathering for a funeral. I love living in this valley. Sharing the land with the Mennonites....and others. Respect and appreciation. There is beauty in simplicity. I was happy to go slower and wait as the "clip-clops" turned into the farm driveway and I could "hurry along" in my machine (which doesn't make near the pleasant noise that horse's hoofs make on the street).

Met the nicest trash man. Seriously. Not just a guy getting his job done...but a really nice, helpful, happy man. Gifts come from all places.

Had an interesting "discussion" with our elderly next door neighbor. I think his wife remembers what it's like to be a teenager, but he has totally forgotten.....if he ever was one. We did make amends, though. I want to be on good terms with all around me.

Megan called from the car to tell me they probably won't get service where they are going this weekend. Her friend, Randi, who goes to school at BYU-Idaho, came down to Provo with her roommates. I guess one of her roommates' uncle has a mountain cabin in Scofield, Utah. It's about two hours from Salt Lake City. So.....the four girls are driving up for a fun weekend since they don't have school on Monday. Megan is going to try snowboarding for the first time. So....hopefully, I won't get any news of any injuries. It's hard letting them grow up......but I'm trying. I miss Megan every day. She is doing great, though....and I am so happy for her to be doing what she wants to do.

Went to church this morning. Some days it just feels wonderful to sit at church with my husband. It felt like that today. He has been busy a lot during Sunday School lately....but today we got to sit together for class, and I loved it. I like that guy. Stayed after church for choir...then came home and mixed up a tuna casserole. I haven't made one for awhile and it just sounded yummy. I made it up as I went, doing some real different things with it....so I am anxious to see how it tastes. Tonight we are going to a Youth Discussion at Church with Josh.

Then....we are going to watch a movie together since there is no seminary tomorrow. I think we are watching Mr. Deeds. Because of the snow days Thursday and Friday, they have to go to school tomorrow (it had been scheduled off for MLK Day) They will have exams Monday and Tuesday with early release at 1pm and then off on Wednesday for a Teacher Work Day.

Kelly is napping with the dogs...and Josh is out in the snow for awhile....and I think I'm going to actually sit down and read awhile. Just relax. Yep....you heard me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

BIG EXCITING MEGA NEWS!!!!

Just thought I'd tell the WORLD....that I am going to be a grandma....again!!! and again!!!
Yep...you heard that right. TWICE! No...not twins. Two daughters pregnant. Michelle....and Jessie!!!! And....hold on to your seats....they are due THE SAME DAY!! Yep! August 16th!
Wow. They were both on the phone when they told us. I am so happy for them both. Both babies look healthy...they've both had ultrasounds due to some problems in the past. But all looks good!
Jessie is very tired. But feels great. Loves it when Noah takes his naps so she can lay down. Michelle? Well...she is taking great care of Toby....in between runs to the bathroom. I guess she is SO sick. Morning sickness to the max. She has lost 13 pounds in 10 days. Can't keep anything down. Feels yucky all the time. I feel for her. Wish I were closer so I could help both of them.

I told them they are going to have to work something out....like Michelle go a week early .....I will stay a week in Georgia ...then I can call Jessie...tell her she can go into labor...and stop in North Carolina for a week on the way home. Something tells me it won't quite work out that way. But whatever. It will be wonderful.

"Poppy" is so excited, too. Good stuff, this grandparenting thing. Good stuff.

Two Steps Forward...Seven Steps Back??

Feeling a bit beat up lately. Heavy heart....not sleeping....some panic attacks at night. Like the other shoe has dropped...but I'm just too busy and tired to pick it up. I know...doesn't make sense. But I will be better soon. I know it. Thanks to my buddies...both in my family and out. I am loved by the best of the best. THAT knowledge is a treasure to me.

Yesterday, Kelly and I both woke up exhausted. He had been up quite a bit getting ready for a medical procedure (you can probably understand what I mean). And me....? I was making sure he took his medicine when scheduled, then worrying we were sleeping in, and the above mentioned anxiety. But....get up we did. School had already been cancelled due to the weather forecast. The weather was perfect when we left for the hospital....so dumb me...I wore little red strappy flats. We noticed Kelly's car was on Empty (I was driving). Kelly...the smart one...said we should stop. Diane....the one who thinks she is smart....said "Oh no.....we are already five minutes late. You've never run out of gas in this car...We'll be fine. We can get gas on the way home."

On to the procedure. We were at the hospital about four hours. Afterwards, Kelly was a bit groggy and a little shaky but could walk down to the door of the hospital. I sat him down and told him I would go get the car. By now.....it was a snowy mess outside....about five inches....and some very deep places where they had plowed the snow. We had to park way far away....so I finally got to the car, feet soaking wet through and through. Realized I had nothing to scrape it off with. Grabbed a legal pad from inside, and turned the car on, and began to push a pile of snow off the car. Chug-chug-cough-dead. Oh no. Got in....no luck. Gas tank was empty. So.....trudged BACK to the hospital where I told my husband we were out of gas. Now....this is LOVE. No "I told you so". But...he did grin a little. I didn't know who to call.....figured most people hadn't left their homes because things were cancelled. I thought Drew would be out though, so I called him. He had driven to Elkton and was on his way back. I told him what happened and he said he would be right there. It took quite awhile....I guess traffic was CRAZY on Route 33, people going 5 miles an hour. Kelly passed the time by telling me the same stories twice....exactly the same. (they warned me about that in post-op,.......good old amnesiac medicine) At least it was entertaining. We got him home.....and Josh helped him get settled in bed. Drew and I took the gas can back to the hospital and put gas in the car. A parking attendant came by with a broom and got all the snow off the car while Drew was adding the gas. How nice. Day was turning out just fine.

I went to the gas station, grateful for Drew helping us out. A couple quick errands and then back home. I was talking to Drew on the phone....he was driving down Route 33, a couple hundred yards from his house....we were having a nice conversation....when he interrupted by yelling....for a few long seconds....then the phone went dead. Called him back a few seconds later....he answered..."I'm OK" (gotta love that kid). So I finally breathed again. He told me he lost control going down a hill....no control at all...went into a pretty big ditch and hit a telephone pole head on. Wow. No one else involved. But the car was messed up pretty badly. Someone stopped and took him home. Long story short....the car was towed to a lot, and Drew got a rental car this morning. A TINY Chevy.....he has some funny names for it. But at least he has something to drive.

I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. My friend, Deb C., helped me, along with Kelly....when he "woke up". We ended up watching Behind Enemy Lines together last night.....it was a great movie. Based on a true story. When Josh got home from Zach's...the movie was starting again...so Josh watched it. I explained a little of it to Josh, since he missed the first part, and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Owen Wilson was great in this. It is not a new movie.....but worth renting. I'm glad we found it on TV.

It was Ammon's birthday today. I called and wished him a happy day. He had been "iced-in" so he got to stay home from work and spend the day with his family. Nice birthday surprise!

Today is Laurie's birthday. 24 years old. 24!!!! Wow!! I miss her. This is the first birthday she has had when I didn't get to see her!!

And last Saturday was Drew's birthday. 31 years old. Wow. We watched the girls (fun for us!) while he and Steph went to the JMU basketball game. Kimmi and Alli fell asleep on the guest bed. They are adorable. On Sunday, I made a nice dinner and had them over to celebrate. We had balloons and presents. Oh...and I made Michelle's Oreo dessert and put candles in it. He loved it.

My big brother, Scott, would have been 55 last Sunday. His wife Colleen and my brother Ken's wife, Michele, also had birthdays in the last week. Wow....busy birthday week!

I know this was WAY long. To anyone who read this whole thing......all I can say is.....sorry. You must be really really nice....or bored.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fireworks!

Another bit of fireworks at the midnight hour.
Oh.... and listen for Aunt Chris' chant for the new year at the end!


video

Hoping 2008 turns out to be a year of peacefulness, prosperity and love for all!

2008....Let it begin!!!

video

Ok... this is my 100th post. So...it should be something special...how about a kazoo band? Yes...two weeks ago tonight, on New Year's Eve, my Aunt Chris, Kelly and I went to "First Night" in downtown Harrisonburg. (although...technically...shouldn't it be called "Last Night"?)
It was fantastic! Megan and Josh both were with friends.....and we ALWAYS have a party with our kids. It felt weird to be home with none of my children.....so we decided to do something different.

It was great. Harrisonburg has been hosting the family-friendly event for 16 years. No alcohol allowed....only good times and good friends and good music and laughter. This started in Boston in 1976 and now there are 133 cities all over hosting their own "First Night" celebrations.

We got down there about 6:30. Walked all around in the crisp evening air filled with noisemakers and laughter and people enjoying being together. There were twenty different musical acts all over the downtown area in different venues. We saw a little rock, we watched the ever-popular Glick and Phillips...a hysterical duo of doctors who play the guitar/mandolin and sing songs of satire and do a little stand-up. Then...we ended up seeing a group called "blue stone sky"...a nice acoustical trio. Then.....we went to TWO shows of "Nothin' Fancy"...a fairly well-known bluegrass band from this area with loads of personality. They were so talented and funny.

Then....right before midnight we all gathered around the courthouse. Kazoos were being passed out to the crowd....2008 kazoos I heard, although I think that was stretching it a bit. As the countdown started, we played "Auld Lang Syne" in unison. Thus this first video. (click on the picture above for the video) I turned my camera sideways to get more of the courthouse in.....but then didn't realize I can't flip it to show it. So....skip it or get a little crick in your neck...your choice. (altho you WOULD miss all the kazoo talent)





This was our view for one of the "shows" for New Year's Eve. It was funny... to see all the people look and then smile and look at who they came with...and try not to laugh. This was a very crowded show...and notice NO ONE is sitting directly behind this guy. There was a group of people there...but they decided to find another seat. (Distractions?) As the show began, another couple couldn't believe their luck at finding such good seats and slipped in....we all waited until they noticed ...then they looked around at all of us...and everyone had a hard time keeping from bursting out in laughter. So....we all "cracked up" in relative silence. (and this guy never knew he was the "butt" of the joke)


Christine took this picture of Kelly and I just a few minutes after midnight. A little chilly...but very happy to be together for another year of adventure. And rather glad to see 2007 end.


Here we are showcasing our talent. Is that a basket on Christine's head? Yep...I think it is. Don't ask. And this was WITHOUT alcohol!