Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Santa Found Us!

Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year!!!
Jenny, Brady and the girls have been with us for almost 5 weeks now and there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Their carpet is being installed today in their new home and they're hoping to move in this Saturday. It has been wonderful having them here, especially after Mom passed away. I don't know what I would have done being here all alone. It will take some getting used to not having them here. I'm not looking forward to it. Anyway.....

Since the little ones were at my home we were a little concerned that Santa might not know where they were, but that jolly old elf knows all.....he found us and a Merry Christmas was had by all.
At about 11:30 am Kathy and her crew arrived and we had our traditional Christmas morning brunch. Everyone loves this meal and more than one said that they enjoy it more than Thanksgiving....imagine that! After the feast we opened our present to each other then just
lounged around. Watch football, read the paper, checked out the 'after Christmas' ads, ate more food, played games and just had a good time.

Here is a picture of 5 of our 'munchkins' (our 6th, Alivia was taking a nap.....

We look forward to the new year with great anticipation! What does it hold for us? Only good things!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've got the greatest family!

My doorbell rang the other day and I answered it to find a delivery man holding a big box. He handed it to me and left. What on earth!? The box said 'Pro-flowers' on it. I opened it and there was a card: "Thank you for the tender and loving manner in which you cared for our dear mother-in-law. Brownie, Dennis, Jim, and Mike." Under the card was two dozen beautiful roses in assorted colors with a beautiful red vase! How sweet is that?!!! Look how beautiful they are....

Imagine my surprise 2 days later when again the doorbell rang....there was a box labeled 'Shari's Berries" It was part 2 of the special thank-you from my brothers-in-law. Printed on the box where the instructions: "Close and lock door. Hide behind large piece of furniture. Quietly open box. Savor and enjoy!" Twelve extra large assorted chocolate dipped strawberries! I'm not sure if you can tell, but two are already missing :).

This is me 'savoring' the decadent strawberries!

I really do have the best family in the world! Thanks guys!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Too much of a good thing is Wonderful!

33 years ago Rick & I were married. Time is now hyper-speed as we look back and realize that it was 'only yesterday'. What a wild and amazing ride! 2 wonderful daughters, 2 great sons-in-law and 6 grandkids later the future seems closer than ever before. What does it hold for us? Does it really matter? Life happens when you're doing other things, so come what may and love it, we promise we will!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Don't Say Goodbye....

Friday, November 28th....My sister & I were saying goodbye to our dear elderly Mother as we were leaving her bedside after a fairly non-communicative visit. Susie reminded me that my Grandmother Jensen always said "never say goodbye" so we both loved Mom and told her "so long." As Susie & I were walking out of her room she unexpectedly called out clearly and distinctly, "I'll be seeing ya!" Susie & I looked at each other and called back to her "we'll be seeing ya, love ya Mom!"

Mom passed away the next Wednesday evening, December 3rd. She allowed me to be there with her when she took her final breath. She was finally at peace. I thought of all the loved ones that would be there to greet her and I felt their calming presence. I had a few moments to grieve before my daughters arrived and phone calls and arrangements needed to be made.

I realize that with her loss I am sad for me. Sad that she won't be there anymore, sad that one of my life responsibilities has been lifted from me, sad that I won't hear her say "I love you, honey" anymore in this life, sad that I don't have to pray for her anymore. But what about her? Is she sad? I don't think she's had time to be sad. She's been too busy visiting with her loved ones that she has been sad about for so many years. Am I happy? Not yet, but I'm happy for her. I'm happy that she knows that I love her, I'm happy that her family gathered and celebrated her life, I'm happy that she's with Dad, I'm happy that she lived a long and full life, I'm happy that she helped create lasting memories that I will cherish until I see her again.

So, for now....."I'll be seeing ya Mom, I love you."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kids + Cookies = Fun!

Yesterday Kathy had Jenny & her kids and me over to make Halloween sugar cookies. Kathy had premade the dough and had everything ready. She got out the flour and spread it all over countertop and the kids went at it. Rolling the dough and cutting out cute little witches hats, skull faces, ghosts, bats and pumpkins. Needless to say that flour was everywhere....on faces, hands, arms, legs, hair, and a fair amount on the chairs and floor. But what budding artists we have!

After we baked them to perfection, Kathy put me in charge of coloring the frosting. We decided on white, orange and purple. OK..normally this would not have been a problem but since Kathy's little dropper bottle of red food coloring was empty she pulls out her large 'capped' bottle of red coloring. Now orange calls for 2 drops yellow to 2 drops red and purple calls for 2 drops red and 3 drops blue, so I very carefully poured some of the red coloring into the cap to try to 'drop' it in the frosting. Somehow it flowed everywhere, making the process very difficult and totally coloring my hands.

What fun we had frosting the cookies and decorating them and especially EATING them!

What delicious works of art! Thanks Kathy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Dad, My Pal

I'm thankful for my Dad. I was the youngest by 7 years of 5 girls. I was supposed to be a boy. But an all wise perfect plan intent, defines where we belong. I always felt sorry for Dad. We all busted our buttons with pride when we talked about his 'glory' days as a star BYU football player. How he earned a full ride scholarship from excelling in sports at his small rural Brigham City High School. A farm boy made big. All 6' 4" and 220 lbs. of him! This amazing speciman of athletics ends up with 5 girls! Poor guy! But Daddy loved us. He took care of us. Even during hard times he never slacked, always providing for his family. I remember as a kid he would put up his arms to show his muscles, he would make them 'dance'. Then we would hang from his arms like tricky bars and he would carry us around. He taught me how to throw a baseball. Not like a girl but with a great wind up. He was always 'the softy'. I don't think he would have refused anything that we really wanted. He endured a lot in his life. He served his country. He loved God and His Son. He taught me patience, he always used to say, "If a string is in a knot, patience will untie it". Dad never showed you how to do something, he TAUGHT you to do it yourself. He was a great gardener. He loved to work in and keep a beautiful garden. He was good with his hands. He could build or fix anything. A grandson once said that 'Grandpa could put the wings back on a butterfly'. He taught me to have integrity. He taught me be strong. He taught me that big guys can be gentle. He taught me what to look for in a husband. Most recently he has taught me that I can make the right decisions. Thank you Dad. I love you.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Mother, Myself

My daughter Jenny decided to write in her blog about the things that she was thankful for and she inspired me. I started to think about what I am grateful for and decided I'll be posting updates occasionally. Today I have been thinking about my dear Mother. I'm thankful to her for giving me life. For enduring the LONG nine months of complete discomfort and the LONG hours of labor and delivery, the LONG episodes of crying, the LONG sleepless nights. Come to think of it, she endured a lot from me. Heaven knows she was not perfect. But she did the best she could with what she knew and was taught. She'll be 89 in December and I'm always comparing her different ages to were I am now...ie; when she was my age I was.....for some strange reason in my mind she always seems older than me.
She taught me to be honest. She taught me how to work hard. She taught me to always tell the truth. She taught me patience. She taught me compassion. She taught me about God and His Son. She taught me about love.

I love you Mom, and I am thankful for you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hoodoo? We do!

Rick and I traveled south on a business trip to Southern Utah last week. We pulled the trailer (affectionately known as the ‘Pleasure Palace’) down to Provo on Saturday and parked at the University Mall and took the bus to the BYU vs Wyoming football game. BYU again dominated with another impressive 44-0 win. Afterwards we bused back to the trailer and journeyed on to Nephi, Utah. We stayed at the High Country RV Park. We were glad it was only for one night. After breakfast on Sunday we drove to St. George and set up camp at the Templeview RV Park which was a wonderful place.

As you can see in the picture we were able to park in the shade of the only tree in the park. Lucky for us since the temperature soared into the 90’s everyday. While Rick was busy at the conference, I jogged, shopped, read, ate, rested and shopped some more. It was good to have some ‘down’ time.

Thursday morning we packed up and headed for Bryce Canyon. The Webster’s Dictionary defines hoodoo as: 1 : a body of practices of sympathetic magic traditional especially among blacks in the southern United States 2 : a natural column of rock in western North America often in fantastic form 3 : something that brings bad luck 4 : Nonsense, Hokum.

Well, we knew we weren’t going to do any traditional black magic tricks, at least not intentionally, and we really didn’t want to run into any bad luck, but we were excited to see the ‘hoodoos’ that Bryce Canyon is know for. The beautiful brilliant orange columns in fantastic forms! And believe me that’s no nonsense!

We realized that we hadn’t been there in about 30 years. Hard to believe when it’s our favorite of the ‘canyon parks’. We set up camp at Ruby’s Inn RV Park and drove into the canyon. It was sunset and the beauty of it is difficult to put into words. Friday morning we got ready and planned our day, a morning hike on the Navajo Loop trail, lunch at Bryce Point, then an afternoon hike to Mossy Cove.

What a glorious day! The Navajo loop trail was a little taxing, especially on the way up! Lots of switchbacks but beautiful. The Mossy Cove reminded us of ‘Weeping Rock’ in Zion Canyon. Dripping water has formed the cove and it has deep green moss growing all around. After hiking in the warm sun the coolness of the cove was delightful. Then we hiked over to the little waterfall that flows from the Tropic Ditch river. It was so beautiful and crystal clear. While we were there, dark clouds started to form and we could hear thunder, so we hiked back to the car and went back to camp. Lucky for us because about 15 minutes after we got back the heaven’s opened and it poured for about 1 hour! It cooled down the temperature and it smelled so good!

Saturday morning we packed up and headed home. What a glorious week. We thank our Heavenly Father everyday for the beautiful earth that He has created for us. We are so blessed to be able to enjoy it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Start - Finish

I did it! What can I say but "I DID IT!" My daughter Kathy and I started out at 8:00 am and drove to the North Salt Lake Center St. overpass and waited for the 5K (3.2 mi.) to begin. First the bike riders went, 850 of them! It took a while for all of them to get through the start gate. Then the 10K'rs, then it was our turn.

Before we left my house, we were pinning our numbers on the fronts of our shirts and adjusting our timing devices on our ankles when Kathy pulls out two more things to pin to our shirts. She had made fabric signs honoring my sisters (her Aunts) and my niece (her cousin) who are battling cancer. Kathy, you are amazing! It provided us with a tangible reminder that we could 'share' with others as we ran.
As we waited with the hundreds of other participants for the horn to sound indicating the beginning of the 5K we warmed up. We stretched, trying to release any tension in our leg muscles and hoping to prevent any injury. We looked around at the other runners; short, tall, fat, thin, young and old. Kathy pointed out an older man and told me that if he could do it, I could do it. He was probably only a year or two older than I was, but hey, she was cheering me on in her own way! Then the horn sounded. Ready or not, let's go....I started with a slow steady pace. I felt sorry for Kathy because she obviously was used to running a bit faster, but she slowed to accommodate me and we fell into an even, steady stride. A lot of people passed us. But we ignored them. Soon we passed her car which was parked a long way from the start line. The crowds thined. The bikers were starting to come back along the route. Kathy commented about how they ride in 'packs' which was really true. Several 'packs' passed us as we ran. I had my watch and was keeping track of our time and it was OK. Slower than Kathy would have liked, but she kept assuring me that we were doing this together and to have fun. At the time it didn't seem very 'fun' but we plugged on. At the half way point they had a water station set up and a young girl gave us small paper cups of water as we ran past and turned the corner. It's hard to drink water while you are panting heavily. But we sipped, and then just threw our cups down on the road. It was kind of cool to do that :) Whew....half way! We just kept up our steady pace and we started to pass other runners. Off in the distance we could see the overpass (finish line). It seemed so far away. But we kept going. We soon passed Kathy's car going the opposite direction, we were getting closer. I tried to step up my pace, we were still lagging behind Kathy's time, but she didn't seem to care. As we got closer to the end, people were lined up along the way and were cheering us on. Kathy grabbed my hand and held it up high with hers as we crossed the finish line, tears welled in my eyes as I realized that I had actually done it. We hugged. I wasn't prepared for the strong emotions that I would feel. It was a special moment for Kathy and I to share.

After we were done, they provided the participants with fruit, bread and water. We walked around and found Rick and Connor waiting for us. It was great to see them! We then went over to the wall where they had posted the times and I found mine....4th place! In my age group I came in 4th at 39 minutes! Needless to say I now have something to brag about. We did it!
I did it!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What am I thinking!

In January 2007 I decided that I actually needed to DO something to become more healthy. After enjoying a somewhat 'fast' metabolism for many years I realized that what I was doing was not working anymore 'for someone my age':( Sooo, I enlisted the help of my 'video' good friend and mentor Denise Austin to help me accomplish my goals and came up with a healthy eating and exercise plan.

My first goal was to loose 30 pounds. Howdy Doody! That would mean completely changing my activity levels and totally revamping my eating habits. Could I do it? I came up with my own diet of about 1000-1200 calories a day. Low sugar, low fat, higher protein, more water and more fiber. Healthy foods. I had to make each calorie count. A lot of the time I just ate smaller portions of my favorite foods so I didn't feel deprived. I simplified my calorie/activity outlook to 'take in less, output more'.

My next goal was to exercise. I decided that in my 'golden years' I wanted to be the one actually moving around on my own without the help of walking aides. I wanted to be able to climb stairs without pain. I did not want to be diabetic. I wanted my pre-arthritic joints to be able to move freely as long as possible. I want to be cancer free. I started moving. Denise and I started out slowly, about 10-15 minutes per day in the morning, trying to do it everyday. She and I would warm up, do aerobics/cardio, spot training and then cool down. I gradually built up my time adding 1-2 minutes a day and increasing levels as I felt up to it. I tried to just move more during the day. I later wanted to add more cardio time so I started running after our aerobics. Starting out at about 6-7 minutes, I tried to increase my running time 1 minute per day.

Next I wanted to exercise my brain. While I ran I would memorize things. I'm not very good at it so it would take a long time. As a member of the LDS faith I memorized 'The Living Christ' and the 'Proclamation on the Family' and the Relief Society Theme. Now lest you think that this was easy, it took me 6 months to learn 'The Living Christ' and 8 months for the 'Proclamation'.

I reached my goal of losing 30 pounds and then some in June of 2007. My cholestorol went down 50 points! I went from a size 16 to 8. My shoulders, knees, elbows and hips didn't hurt anymore. I could move more easily. I felt fantastic! I still do.

Now, on to the next step 'A RACE?' My daughter Kathy ran in a 5K race in her city last Spring. And she raved about how much fun it was and insisted that I run one too. Oh, I'm not so sure. She's 21 years younger that I am. Well, after a summer of 'let's do it' everyday I succumbed. We signed up for the Hess Cancer Foundation Legacy Run on September 13th. Yikes! I've been training, but still don't want to make a complete fool of myself. I want to make a respectable showing. I want to finish!

I want to run in honor of those who can't. For my two sisters who have ovarian cancer, one scheduled to start her 3rd round of chemo and the other in the middle of her 2nd round. For my niece in her 30's who just had a double mastecomy and is in the middle of chemo.

Life is precious and I want to be around mentally and physically to enjoy it. So, I may be crazy for attempting the 5K but here goes.....I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

PC to PC?!

I for one am the most surprised of all that I have actually entered the world of the 'blog'! I'm still not even sure I know what it means. What does it mean? In my day the word 'communicate' comes to mind. We used to actually talk face to face! Then we quickly moved to ear to ear. Now PC to PC?!

I really only have done this to get in the grove with my two daughters, both of whom have blogs. Their blogs give me the opportunity to know what's going on in their lives, so I'll join the 'club', although I may bore everyone to tears.