Thursday, December 31, 2009

Getting Ready to Ring in 2010!!

I must admit that I really don't like New Year's Eve.  I'm not sure why but something about it always depresses me.  I'd rather go to bed at 10:00 and get up and enjoy the Rose Parade and our traditional breakfast instead of hanging out until after midnight.

But tonight Stan will get home from work about 11:45, so the boys and I are going to wait up for him with some Sparkling Cider and some snacks so who knows, it may be fun.

In the meantime I am getting ready for tomorrow morning, which is always fun for us.  I am smoking two and a half pounds of salmon so we can have bagels with cream cheese and salmon for breakfast, along with some Gorilla Bread I will be baking.  As an extra treat we'll enjoy our friend Kristeen's hot chocolate with it. 

We usually eat in the living room as we watch the Rose Parade.  My husband Stan is from San Luis Obispo where Cal Poly is (his grandfather used to teach there) and they always have a float in the parade.  So we enjoy our breakfast and watch for the float and pick our favorites.

I suspect that this year we'll also be keeping an eye on the marching bands since Kevin marched in several parades this year.  I know they won't be as good as his band .....

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!  Here's hoping that all your dreams continue to come true for you in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whale or Mermaid?

I received this in an email from a friend and just had to share it!

Recently, in a large city in France, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.

They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia .

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.

If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?

They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them ... where is IT? Therefore, they don't have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.

So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨

I Confess

Okay, I confess ....

You know those commercials for those blankets with the arms in them?  I made fun of them.  I thought to myself, "Why does anyone need one of those?  Put on a sweater and drape a blanket over your legs and get on with it."  Not very nice, I know.  But I found it to be a silly thing.

Over Christmas I saw the darned things everywhere!  I couldn't believe it ... who would buy one?

Then my mother gave me one for Christmas, and I must confess once more.  I'm crazy about the thing.  It is the most wonderful item I own.  I got sick the day after Christmas and I love cozying into it.  Plus, with three men in the house I can't put the heat up too high or they're all panting and complaining.  (You know how men are walking furnaces!) 

But my new blankie?  It's just super.  The last couple of days when I wake up and get ready for the day I tell myself I can go downstairs and get into my blankie with the arms. 

I am so sorry I badmouthed them.  If I was a famous person I would do their commercials for free!  I will never again make fun of something until I try it out.  I (sort of) promise....

Repentance is a good thing, and so is my blankie!

Friday, December 25, 2009


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

My family, like most in America, is a conglomeration of many different cultures.  We try to incorporate many of them into our own holiday traditions.  My mother is half Irish, half Norwegian, and my father was half Danish, half English.  So we have a lot of different customs we enjoy.

One that we always celebrated was on Christmas Eve.  My mother, through her Norwegian lineage, held a belief that the Christ Child walks again on Christmas Eve looking for a place to stay.  Of course, you won't recognize him as the Christ ... he could be your neighbor, a friend from church or school, or a stranger whose car has broken down in front of your house. 

My mother always had the house cleaned with cookies and cocoa at the ready.  And, this was most important, a light needed to be shining to lead the way to your doorstep.

I still believe in that tradition.  My house is always ready on Christmas Eve to take in whomever knocks at my door.  And by ready I don't mean a cleaned and sparkling house so much as that our hearts are ready to receive the friendship and love that may come calling, and our hands ready to serve those who need it.

"God does notice us, and he watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.  Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom."  Spencer W. Kimball, 1895-1995

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting Ready

We have a tradition in our family for Christmas Eve.  We always have dinner of shrimp fondue with Christmas cookies for dessert.  After everything is cleaned up we have a Christmas program.  When our whole family is together, my sister is usually the one who comes up with the most elaborate and fun part of the evening but this year I've decided to give it a shot since she's not around.  I've made a Christmas Jeapordy game, and after a lot of research and technical difficulties in putting a game board together, I think I'm ready to play Alex Trebek tomorrow night.

My categories are: Who Said It? in which you must name the character and the show in which they said the quote; Christmas Song Lyrics; Santa Claus; Christmas Traditions; and Christmas Show Characters.

Like Jeapordy, my family will have to give the question to the supplied answer.  Since my family doesn't check my blog, here is a sample for you to try out... from the category of Christmas Traditions:  The tradition of using noisemakers such as these during winter carried over into the celebration of Christmas.  But instead of making noise to keep away evil things, people made noise to celebrate something happy.

Know the question??

We've also picked up our Christmas tamales which we'll enjoy for our Christmas Eve lunch.  My friend Sommar gave us some homemade salsa (which is AMAZING!!) and we'll finish up our wrapping and have the house bursting with music.  I love Christmas Eve as we prepare for the holiday.

Our final event tomorrow night is Stan's annual candle lighting ceremony.  It's how we remember that Christ came to earth and gave us His light.  With Him in our lives He lights our way and gives our lives .... everything.  We sing Christmas hymns and sit in the soft light of those candles and give ourselves time to reflect on the past year and our blessings.  It's a lovely way to wrap up the night and look forward to Christmas morning.

I hope you all have and enjoy your own family traditions as we do.  Such a special and lovely time of the year.

Oh!  And the question for the answer above:  What are Christmas bells?

Have a great holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Lights!

Last night was our annual Christmas Light Night where we go out and roam the city looking for the best and most fun displays of holiday lights.  And wow, did we find some!  Our very own street was almost completely decked out so we started off knowing it was going to be a fun experience.

We visited our friends homes in the area and the neighborhoods around us and also went up and visited a church north of us that has a full display you can drive through.  It had lights on the trees synchronized to music, groups of singers waving and serenading us, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Santa's workshop, and ending with a live nativity.  They had the three wisemen, an angel appearing to shepherds, and of course a star over a manger.  It was a wonderful display and experience.

It was a special night after our fast and having Stan join us at church.  Kevin is sick, but we bundled him up and he was able to join us too.  It was the end of a perfect weekend.  It made us all feel so blessed to be a family and that we share a special bond and love between us.  It's going to be a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking Forward to Sunday

Just want to thank all of you for praying and/or fasting for AJ tomorrow.  He's feeling so much more positive and upbeat.  Your prayers are working!

And another blessing: Stan has agreed to attend church with us tomorrow and to fast for AJ as well.  Since he is not of the same faith as us, this is such a special offer from him.  He loves his son and will support him anyway he can. 

AJ's spirits are up so much from last weekend, and it is because all of our dear friends, near and far, are praying for him.  Thank you all.  We'll keep you posted on his quest to become a missionary.

Friday, December 18, 2009


When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness."

~ Bob Hope, 1903-2003

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I've Become a Hair Stalker!!

Yup, it's true.  I am a hair stalker.  I am in the mood for a new hair style, and have discovered that I am constantly scoping out other women's hair.  I was even watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas special last night and, while I was listening to and enjoying the music, I found that as the camera panned over the women I was looking at their hair! 

"Gee that's a cute style!"  "I wonder if that would look good on me?" "How did she get that look, with a curling iron or rollers?"   

I even ran into some friends at Costco yesterday and I was checking out their hair as well.  I guess no one's safe when looking for a new look.  Now I just want to know ..... is it ME????

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Season

The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much.
--Henry David Thoreau

The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.
--Helen Keller

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you...yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.
--Mother Teresa

Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
 ~Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank You

AJ and I would like to thank all of you who have responded to our request for prayers on Sunday.  Our hearts are full.  AJ told me he feels so humbled by so many of you who are offering to pray and/or fast with him so that he may be able to serve a mission.

Last night he told me that the scripture that best describes how he feels is D&C 121:7-9. 

That is the beauty of the gospel ... we stand together.  We support and love each other in our trials and our joys. 

Our family looks forward to Sunday and feeling the strength of prayer and the spirit of the season.  We know things will turn around for AJ and it won't be long before his dream of being a missionary will be reality.  Thank you all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


About a month ago I posted the news that AJ had put in his papers for his mission.  It took a long year before he was able to submit those papers.  He wants so badly to serve a mission and that year of waiting was difficult for him. 

Unfortunately, he has hit another snag in his quest and this time it is hitting him very hard.  I am afraid he is close to giving up his dream, and I know that is not what he wants. 

Tonight he asked me if I would "ask all your ladies" if you would pray for him and if you can, join us in a fast next Sunday, the 20th, that he might be able to fulfill his desire to serve a mission.

Those of you who know AJ know what a great person he is and what a wonderful missionary he will make.  Please remember him in your prayers that this might happen for him.  Thank you very much.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Truman Capote

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Peace, Be Still

The Oakland Temple in California is near and dear to my heart as it was the first temple I ever went to.  Not only that, but I went to pagents there and other events so that it holds a special place in my memories.

I have come to realize how much my faith steadies me, anchors and defines me.  I don't know how I would be without it.  But I do know that with it I am whole.

This afternoon my friend Tara and I are going to the temple in Denver.  I am so looking forward to being there, to partake of the peace therein.  To be still and know that He is.  What better time of the year to have such an experience than this time?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lap of Luxury

It's all how you look at it.  Sometimes I see these ads for things in the paper or on television that I cannot afford and think how hard it is to have such a tight budget.  But then I sit back and look at what I really have and I have to admit, I am living the good life.

My pantry and fridge are full.  On my counter are all the things I need to start my holiday baking: nuts, sugars, flour, dried fruit, chocolate (CHOCOLATE!!!) and a Kitchen Aid mixer.  Pretty luxurious.

Last night I was upstairs in my room and I thought how I really had it made.  I have an easy chair with an ottoman and a side table with a reading lamp.  My home is warm in the midst of a really frigid spell here, and I had my pink fuzzy slippers, my pink giant hoody sweatshirt that's my robe, a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and an amazing book to read with Christmas carols playing on the stereo.  And there I sat, my feet up, and relaxing the night away, the sounds of my sons downstairs laughing at some silly movie they were watching sounding so good.  Tell me, could Oprah have it better?  I don't think so.

So, yeah, I may drive an eleven year old mini-van instead of a jaguar, live in a 2000 sq ft home instead of 25000 sq ft one, but how much room do I need to sit and relax with my hot chocolate and book? 

Yep.  I'm living in the lap of luxury and I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I like this .....

It’s in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It’s in every one of us
By and by

Lyrics by David Pomeranz

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A New Story

Please check out a new short story I have posted on my writing site  Based on a true story that happened to my maternal grandfather, I hope you'll give it a read and let me know what you think.  And maybe it'll help promote a good Christmas feeling as well .....


Friday, December 4, 2009


I believe in the elaborate taking care of others.  And we live in a culture where "I'm not my brother's keeper," "That's your responsibility," "Get a life" have become bywords, code phrases, anthems for elaborate indifference, selfishness, greediiness, and the failure of empathetic acceptance.  In the same way that we need to repair the economy, we need to repair the effects of an economy of selfishness.
Michael Silverblatt, NPR
1952 -