Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!


Stay on the Path

That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.” (Albert Pike)

I ran across this quote today and loved it. If we can wade through the trials, the heartache, the error, the ignorance and imperfection, what will remain is that which we desire -- success and happiness.

Sometimes life gets so hard that it's difficult to see beyond the heartache. If we could, we would never lose our focus and we would be willing and eager to continue to trudge through the day-to-day challenges that we call mortality.

But the best is yet to come. It will all be worth it, and we can't imagine what is in store for us if we can keep the faith and press on. As we pass through the darkness (which we all must, at least from time to time), we need to remember that the light we seek is just around the next bend in the path.


Fun times in Primary!

Yesterday in Primary, our chorister Joan decided to do a song 'hospital' so that we could review all the songs we're doing for the CSMP (*Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation) which is coming up on November 18. (this, of course, means that we will be doing the requisite LONG practices in the chapel for the next 2 Sundays). Joan wanted to know how well the kids really knew the songs. She asked if I could help her with her singing time, and of course, I jumped at the chance to be dorky. That's what I'm best at.

Above you will see Joan and I, garbed in our Dr./Surgeon outfits, (rubber gloves and all!) going through the songs. The pic came from our Bishopric member's camera phone -- I thought I saw him standing back there with his phone in the air! We look pretty weird but I'm OK with that. We had a ball and I"m quite sure the kids did too.
Life is fun when you are willing to be a bit geeky -- and clearly I am!


Just Listen

I remember hearing Elder Marion D. Hanks tell a story long ago -- probably in the early '70's -- where he talked about how important good teachers are and what a difference they make. He mentioned listening as something that is a hallmark of a good teacher. (I think this is coming back to me as I continue to prepare for our Primary Teacher Appreciation meeting tomorrow night).

He told of a man who took his sons on an outing, where they spent a wonderful day together. On the way home, the younger boy fell asleep. His dad laid the little guy softly on the back seat of the car (you can tell this was some time ago!) and covered him gently with his coat. As they continued the drive home, the dad (who was trying to make the day really special and memorable, as well as use any opportunity he could find to teach) asked the older son many questions: "What did you like best? Did you like . . ." and the father would run through the things they had done together that day.

The boy answered dutifully, "Yes, Daddy", to everything his father asked him. After his dad stopped questioning him, he finally had a chance to say what he really wanted to say: "Daddy, if I fell asleep, would you put your coat on me?"

So after all the talking and attempted lesson-teaching, the bottom line was that Dad needed to listen. His son wanted to know if his dad loved him enough to lay him lovingly on the seat and cover him with his coat. Dad just needed to stop and listen to his son. Sure, talk sometimes, but really stop and listen. That's how we build relationships. And in the end, relationships are all that really matter.

I know I talk too much. I need to listen more. What will really matter is how quickly my loving relationships will grow if I do.


I'm Wearing Shoes!

Yippee! Today I am wearing a pair of shoes for the first time since the surgery. My right foot is still somewhat swollen, but improving. Since it was ever-so-slightly chilly out this morning as we headed to watch Maya play soccer, I decided I wanted shoes AND socks on. So I rummaged around and found an old pair of tennis shoes that actually were in my give-away pile because they are a bit wide and worn. However -- with very loose lacing on the right foot, I am wearing SHOES. I am thrilled.

Good thing I'm easily pleased, right?
**Disclaimer - not my shoes and not my feet. My shoes are much older and more beat up (although they are the same brand - I love Mizunos), and my right foot is much fatter than that one.


A Very Good Shopping Day

Mark doesn't get why I have a lot of individual store credit cards -- Nordstrom, Dillards, Penney's, Macy's, Talbots etc. He thinks if I'm going to charge something, I should just put it all on one generic card. I have tried to explain to him that there are extra benefits that come to store cardholders. This morning was a great example of that.

We bought a lot of things that required very little cash. Why? Mostly because of the side benefits of the store cards. (Some of the freebies came from other sources but the store card benefits paid off today).

First we went to Nordstroms to find me a pair of Mary Jane Crocs in a neutral color that I can wear with anything (as that's all I'll be wearing for a while with my right foot recovering from surgery, and then upcoming surgery on the left). I used a gift card that I received for my birthday to cover that. Cost to me? Nothing. I still had nearly $20 credit on the gift card. We moved on to Build-a-Bear, where Maya bought a Cinderella outfit for one of her bears. Our cost? Not much -- she had a $10 gift certificate Build-a-Bear had sent her -- probably because we spend way too much money there.

Next stop, Macy's, where I had 20% off coupon -- which Natie used, buying some great markdowns -- plus that extra 20% off. We moved on to Victoria's Secret where I had a $10 gift card and a coupon for a free gift -- so we got lip gloss (one for me and one for Maya!) and the freebie gift, worth around $10 more. Cost to us? Nothing. Next, we stopped in at JC Penney, where I had a $10 coupon for anything . We found a necklace marked way down that Natie loved so she picked that up. Out of pocket? Zip.

Chick-Fil-A was our choice for lunch and were amused by the fact that we paid more there than anywhere else, but I did have a coupon for a free sandwich, which we used. Nothing wrong with that! Finally, we stopped back in at Nordstrom on the way out and fitted Mason for a new pair of Converse, got a Jibbitz for Maya for her Crocs, and used up the rest of my gift card there. I think we had to pay another $6 or something.

Not all the bonuses came from having store cards, but many did. That's why I love the store cards -- deals! A good day shopping is still better than just about anything else.


Teaching With Love

"Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, oh what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course had a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind." (Joseph Smith)

I came acrosss this quote as I prepared for our upcoming Primary Teacher Appreciation meeting. It made me think of a little phrase my mom would repeat to us as kids (which made me mad everytime I heard it as I recall!) that goes something like this: "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." I remember thinking that was a really dumb thing for her to keep saying.

But the lesson is there. That little phrase from the past takes me to one you hear a lot these days: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." It's true. When you approach anything with love, the end result is always astounding. Joseph Smith knew it, my mom knew it, and now I know it too.

When people know you love them, they are willing to hear whatever it is that you are trying to teach them. It works. Try it.

Cute Templates

For those of you who haven't yet carved your pumpkin, check these out. I was browsing the HGTV site and thought they looked fun. There are many people who are creative and artistic enough on their own and who wouldn't need something like this. Not me. I'm definitely not artistic and creative and I love these -- slap the template on the pumpkin and you're good to go. There are lots of fun things to choose from -- these are just a few examples. Check them out here.


The Truth!

I read Darleen's post about her holiday weight-gain concerns, I saw Heather's picture of that yummy cake, and I am reading everyone's chatter about Halloween treats and this is how it makes me feel:

More Fun for Halloween

Ran across these today in my Women's Day magazine -- and they looked like such a fun craft idea for the kiddoes. Just print, cut out and color. I know a certain little girl that would love these! They look like keepers to me. Check them out here.


Love those Crocs!

Since the only thing I can fit on my still-swollen right foot (besides the shoe I got from the doc after surgery) is a Croc, this cracked me up. It's right on the money. Thank goodness we live in a place where you can still wear Crocs in late October. Comfortable trumps pretty much anything for me right now.


Feed His Sheep

Of all the blessings I have had in my life, one of the sweetest is that feeling the Lord provides when I know that He has answered the prayer of another person through me.” (Thomas S. Monson)

One of the (few) advantages of getting older is that you are sometimes able to look back and see a reason for something that happened or that you did in the past. It's a wonderful gift when you discover that you were really the instrument that the Lord used to answer a prayer. It is, as Pres. Monson says, a sweet, sweet blessing, one I"m grateful for.

To hear from someone that you love but hadn't heard from in some time that you were (and still are) important and meaningful in their life is a gift and an uplift. It's something to be grateful for, and today, for me, that's very special. It makes me so thankful for the spiritual promptings I do receive, and that (thank goodness!) I even sometimes act on my feelings.

It also inspires me to be more in tune, more compassionate, more aware and more active in seeking those inspirations so that I can help feed His sheep for Him.



We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” (Thornton Wilder)

My heart is full and happy today. I was so happy to be back in Primary. We have had 2 Sundays off, as we had General Conference and then Stake Conference in a row. I missed my Primary kids. I really did. I looked out at both Junior and Senior Primaries as I conducted today and my heart was filled with love for them, appreciation and love for their teachers, and a sure knowledge that they are most certainly among my treasures.

After Primary, the CTR 5's came to give me flowers that they had made for me, and to say thank you. How I love them! I felt that it was I who needed to thank them and Natalie Scott, their teacher.

And now we have Maya playing with us and will see Chris, Natalie and Mason soon as well. It doesn't get better than this. Family, Primary children and teachers, a wonderful Sharing Time, the gospel. What treasures I possess! I am so blessed!


Disney Housewives

With all the Disney love we have around here right now, this really made me smile when it arrived in my Inbox yesterday. Perfect timing.


Man Joke

Probably no comment necessary here -- no doubt a male wrote this!! Only a man could turn a breast cancer walk into a boobie joke. Still, it struck me funny. hee hee!


Fun Stuff!

How cute are these? Back a little while ago (probably not a year yet) I ran across the Alex Woo website and totally loved the single yellow gold note. It's literally a little chunk of gold, shaped like a note. I really debated about buying it as it was not cheap so it took me a little while to decide how badly I wanted it. But I finally gave in, bought it -- and I love it. I wear it all the time and it reminds me of how important music is to me and how thankful I am for it.

Check out others here: there are snowflakes, stars, numbers,letters, really quite a wide variety of things available. Fun stuff!

Something to Think About

"Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it." (C.S. Lewis)

For me, the question is this: Am I worth it?
My answer? Not yet. But I'm working on it.


Stitches are out!

Today I saw my foot doc, had the stitches removed and was told that on Monday, I can try the elliptical machine for 10 minutes. (that is, of course, assuming I can jam this fat right foot of mine into my exercise shoes. I may have to work on that one as it's still pretty swollen.)

I'm like the ladies above though -- I only have one pair of exercise shoes but tons of pairs of eating shoes. As a matter of fact, somehow I can eat in just about any shoes (or no shoes for that matter!) just about any time. Anyone else in the same boat?


Sweet Moment

For anyone else who was confused about what the audience was laughing at during general conference Saturday morning:

"After President Hinckley finished with the sustaining of the officers of the church during the Saturday morning session, Elder Eyring had moved into his new seat on the stand. Unfortunately, they didn't show this on TV, but when President Hinckley turned around, he stood there for a moment looking at Elder Eyring (probably with the little twinkle in his eye), then picked up his cane and "knighted" him on his shoulder and head."

For me, it's so wonderful to see that our prophet has such a sense of humor. I also love seeing how the brethren love each other. I read that Elder Oaks leaned down and kissed the top of Elder Wirthlin's head after his talk. I love hearing stories like that one.
I truly believe that Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor and I'm sure He enjoyed Pres. Hinckley's action. I know I did.


Blessed for Sure

After an endless internal debate over this gorgeous necklace, (do I need it? do I deserve it? Not really. But I want it!) I have finally ordered my Blessed necklace from Lisa Leonard. She does beautiful things, and I know I have posted about her and her jewelery before, but now this one is on the way to me! (or it will be once she makes it!) And I am so excited.

I have had kind of a bummer week too -- (seems to have been pretty common -- last week was a rough one for many) and I have decided I need to be much more aware of how blessed I really am. I have so much and I am grateful. But I'm hoping wearing this lovely piece of jewelery will be an ongoing reminder to me to stop whining, buck up and go on, remembering how lucky and grateful I am. Because I am. I just forget sometimes.

Somehow this little necklace has spoken to me -- I love it and will let you know how it looks when I see it in person. Can't wait!

True or False?

With my foot being out of commission for nearly 2 weeks now, (improving, but I still have stitches in till Wed.) exercise has been off my list. I have to admit that I've missed my time on the elliptical -- sort of a love/hate relationship, you know? I haven't stepped on the scale since the surgery because I don't put much weight on that foot yet (at least not without my weird clunky shoe thingie) so I"m guessing at my weight based on intake and the way my clothes fit. And now I"m getting nervous and the above is what I'm afraid of. Yikes! (this is why I weigh every day!)


Hallelujah! (or Yay for my Natalie!)

Yay for my Natalie! She paid a visit here tonight for dinner, and after I had her good and full, she allowed me to drag her into our office where she messed around, compared her blog's html to mine, cut, pasted, did it again, downloaded, uploaded, edited, saved, deleted -- and presto! Look at what she did for me! I just love it and (of course -- duh!) I just love her!

Now that's blog-worthy! Thanks, Nan! (*I wish I had a pic of her sitting in front of the computer, but no such luck. This one will have to do!)


OK, so this non-techie really wanted a cute blog like lots of the rest of you have - and I figured I was slightly intelligent so also figured I could work it out myself. I found some instructions -- and followed them -- and nothing happened. So I pretty much gave up on it all and decided I'd just have to be myself (boring!)and leave the blog alone --(except for the banner - -(thanks to my friend Jill for that), but now when I try to add a picture, what I get is html gobbledegook. The same thing happens when I try to add a link so it's tied up in the menu above, I think. So until I can fix that, no pics. I know it's likely no one but me will miss that, but I kinda like putting pictures up!

Is there anyone there who could help with this? If so, let me know -- we can email and see what can be done. Sigh.

I hate being such a non-techie.



We spend our lives weaving a tapestry of sorts. The largest ribbons of color are our family and closest friends. But a tapestry made up of just these people has gaps. The other people we weave into our lives – some only as thin threads – are what give our life its texture and its strength. They fill the gaps in the most amazing ways. Their colors reflect on the ribbons and on us. Weaving them into our tapestry creates for each of us a magnificent, dense and interesting life.

And when life takes a wrong turn, that tapestry becomes a blanket that we can wrap around us or a safety net into which we can fall.
” (Elizabeth Edwards – Ladies Home Journal, November 2007)

Carole King wrote and sang a song called 'Tapestry' in the '70's which I have always loved and in conjunction with the above quote, it makes it clear that my own tapestry consists of so many threads. She says her life is a tapestry of rich and royal hue and I think ours are the same. Your colors are woven into my tapestry and make it bright and beautiful. I'm hoping my colors do the same for yours.


We Are Somebody

"As children of God we are somebody. He will build us, mold us, and magnify us if we will but hold our heads up, our arms out, and walk with Him. What a great blessing to be created in His image and know of our true potential in and through Him! What a great blessing to know that in His strength we can do all things!" (Marvin J. Ashton, "In His Strength", Ensign, Jul 1973)

I need to read this often. There are so many days I feel so small, weak and powerless when I look at all the pain and problems there are in this life. Especially after a long, emotional day like today has been, I love the way this quote makes me feel -- that I just have to (as he says) 'hold my head up, my arms out and walk with Him.'

I want to. I need to. And His strength is there for me when I do.



My family has, in the past, accused me of being a very 'huggy' person. My sister makes fun of me for hugging all the time. And I admit it. I'm a natural hugger. I think there is much to be said for the benefits of a hug - -I think we all need a hug really often, whether we realize it or not. So I hug people. A lot.

Why? I think Shel Silverstein said it best in his poem, "Hug O' War".

"I will not play at tug o'war.
I'd rather play at hug o'war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs.
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins."

Because everyone does win.

Fun Halloween Stuff

I will be the first to proclaim that I am not crafty at all (except maybe in the sneaky sense of the word! hee hee!) but I guess that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some fun stuff. This is for all of you craft-loving bloggers -- check these out (and more) here, where they provide complete instructions for each craft.
Like I said, I won't be making them, but I sure do enjoy looking at them.


Happy Birthday to Mark!

Today is my cutie-pie's birthday -- I'm sending lots of love and happy birthday wishes to him.
He's wonderful. If you don't know him, you should. He's smart, funny, patient, kind, long suffering (for sure -- we've been married a long time!) a lovely dad, a sweet Grandpa, and a wonderful friend and companion to me. I love him a lot and consider him to be at the top of the list of my nicest, most undeserved blessings.
Happy Birthday!