Saturday, May 30, 2009


"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same." Anonymous

I love this quote. I have had many people come into my life and leave footprints on my heart. No matter what path I take or that friend takes, we are always connected through experiences, emotions, and a common ground.

I have worked with Joan for 8 years. For the first 2 years, we worked with a wonderful teacher, Jill, as technicians in a transitional kindergarten class. Jill left footprints on my heart and we still keep in touch even though she's been living in California for 6 years. (Note my Disneyland post) Joan became the teacher and I have worked with her as her technician for 6 years. I have learned alot from Joan -probably because she's Canadian! :-)

For the past 3 years, Karen has been in the classroom with us. We make a great team and we're good friends. There are some changes brewing that will mix things up at school. Joan is moving to China for the next 2 years! Karen is going to school to get her special ed endorsement and will become the teacher. I will be her technician in the afternoon and a speech technician in the morning!

Karen and I wanted to do something special for Joan. I asked my amazingly talented son, Dan, to paint a picture of the 3 of us! This is what he did!
Changes have come but we will always be connected. We have to be...

... We've been immortalized!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Graduation Day!

"We'll remember always, graduation day"
This picture was taken with a polaroid camera 100 years ago...ok, 38 years ago. The year was 1971, to be exact. Brenda and Kathy are in the picture with me. Do you remember your graduation day?
Let's fast forward 20 years.
I am pregnant with my 8th child. My twins, who were almost 16, made comments as to how old my husband and I would be when "this baby" graduates! "Dad might even be in a wheel chair!"

The day has arrived. "This baby" graduated today. There were no wheel chairs - both Andy and I were able to move on our own.

It kind of makes me feel empty. Almost like I have post-partum blues. My baby, Jacob, has reached a milestone in his life that represents independence, adulthood, responsibility, and great opportunities.
I'm sure I feel the same way many mothers feel - have I done all I should have done for him, have I taught him well? Will he be successful? I can't keep him in a chrysalis, unable to fully experience life. I need to let him spread his wings and try life on his own. It's hard, but that's what he's been preparing to do for the past 17+ years.

There he goes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cooking Tips

There's a widow in her 80's who lives down the street from me. Every time I go to visit her, she has tips for cooking and saving money. The other day, while visiting, she had more great ideas. This is how our (her) conversation went:

"Do you want to save money and fix a quick dinner? Here's something you can do". (She leans forward in her chair and as she tells me this great tidbit, her voice gets louder and she talks faster)
"You go to the store when the weenies are on 89 cents a package. Don't get the ones with 10 in them, they're too skinny and you have to eat two, get the ones with 8 because they're bigger. Don't just buy 1 package, get several because they'll keep for a long time in the refrigerator! When you're home alone, or if you're home with Andyortheboyandyou'rehungry
...."(at this point she sits back and folds her arms as though she's going to reveal a real treasure)"...cook a weenie!"

I'll be going to see her again. I know you'll be anxiously waiting for me to post more cooking tips. In the meantime, I need to gather up my cross-stitch supplies. I have a wall hanging to make! "Cook a Weenie!"

Monday, May 25, 2009


Happy Memorial Day!
This is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that has been made by people before us to keep liberty in our country, a time to remember loved ones who have passed away, and a time to read or hear stories of ancestors we have never met. This head stone is on the grave of my husband's grandfather. He lived in Delta, Utah, had 2 wives, (not at the same time) and 10 children. He was a good, hard-working, God-fearing man. He died young, only 55. His first wife died when she was only 32 years old, the second wife, my husband's grandmother, died 3 years after Jacob Alma, leaving my father-in-law an orphan at the age of 15.

This is our Jacob Alma.
He is the youngest of 8 children and was purposely named after his great-grandfather. I think he will make his grandfather proud of what he's done with his name.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Behind the Scenes

I like to be "behind the scenes" in most things.

A few weeks ago, we had a program with our school class. The children did a fantastic job with their singing and speaking parts. The teachers did a song and dance at the end. It was fun to do, but, if I had my way, I'd rather be doing something that no one knows about but helps the end result be better. Let me type up a program, put up scenery, or do a power point. I like to let those who are younger, prettier, smarter, or more talented, be up front.
I realize that my own children are the same way. They do lots of things "behind the scenes." Our kids made a birthday cake at 3:00 in the morning, out on the deck so they wouldn't wake my husband and me and they could surprise us in the morning with a cake for our shared birthday!
These pictures show more "behind the scenes" with my kids. Here, Jeanette got a little "goose" from her big sister!

In this family picture, Jordan just received a nice wedgie before the picture was taken. Big brothers are the best!

At Keiti's blessing, while taking a picture of Jill, Vili, and the Travis fam, Jordan popped into the picture to share the spotlight.

And last, but not least, Jeanette decided to spice up the picture by taking a bite of her brother's leg.

Nothing like doing things behind the scenes to make the end result better!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

California Adventure!

Here we are standing by the "F" in California. When I say "we" I mean everyone but me. I like to be behind the camera!
The first ride we enjoyed was the Rocket. It's easy to take pictures on a kiddie ride.

Adalyn was all smiles on this ride.

It's hard to take a picture on California Screamin'. What a ride! I loved it! A picture is snapped during the ride and shown on a screen at the end. Is it stealing to take a picture of the picture they charge you $14.95 if you want it?

On a hot day, water play in Bug Land is a hit! Here's Adalyn and Kelsey getting wet!

Cyrus is running around trying to "avoid" the water misters over head.

We found Chip or is it Dale? I can never tell those two apart!

The Tower of Terror was another ride that was FUN! Forget the kiddie rides. I like the ones that make the little ones cry! Another stolen picture? I better talk to my bishop.

Here we are back in Bug Land on a ride made by Flick the ant from Bug's Life. Cyrus didn't cry on this one!

Adalyn and Emily like Bug Land too!

Moms and babies like the ride. Where's Dad? He finally got a chance to eat some lunch so he took advantage of that. For 3 days we lived on peanut butter sandwiches and Cheetos. A lot better than getting a second mortgage to buy the food in the park for 9 people,

This is how we all felt when it was time to say goodbye to Disneyland.

But we were jealous of Caitlyn. We all needed a nap!

We shall return!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Disneyland Highlights

Here are just a few highlights of my Disneyland trip. I joined my daughters, Candice and Camille and their families on Wednesday, after work. I didn't realize what work was until I went on all the rides with the grandkids, helped wrestle 2 - 18 month olds, climbed in and out of the rides while carrying a child, "slept" in the same bed with an 18 month old for 2 nights and with a 4 year old the other 2 nights. (Beds just aren't big enough for an adult and the sprawled out body of a toddler) Yes, a lot of work but even more fun! I may not be as young as I used to be but I'm still a kid at heart. Thanks for the invite!

There were 5 in the bed and the little one said..."I'm crowded, roll over!" Here's how the night started; all five children watching TV in the hide-a-bed. One by one they were moved to their bed as they fell asleep.

We found the "Weinermobile" in the parking lot of the hotel. The way the kids were acting, it was obvious they were standing by the appropriately named vehicle.

Here are Candice, Andy, Emily, Cyrus and Kelsey in Disneyland

Camille, Caitlyn and Adalyn

Emily and Camille on their way to the Indiana Jones ride.

Emily and Kelsey standing next to Snow White (If I have to have a favorite princess, Snow White is mine) I would have carpel tunnel having to hold my hand that way for every picture.

This picture looks like Emily is an escapee from Haunted Mansion (shiver)

Cyrus and Adalyn outside Haunted Mansion. They're smiling now...

Candice and Cyrus on Dumbo

What do you mean no flash pictures allowed in the Snow White ride? This is not what I was seeing before I took the picture!

I met my good friend, Jill, at Downtown Disney! We used to work together before she moved to California. What a treat to be able to visit with her.
I have a lot more pictures but I don't want to bore you...all at once.
It was fun!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Here I am in Sunny California and I'm posting about signs. Weird! I saw these signs and decided to put them on because I'm kind of anal about what signs say and whether or not words are spelled correctly.

This sign is just outside the entrance of the hotel. The sign on top says that smoking is NOT allowed!

The sign just below it shows that the state of California doesn't expect people to follow the previous sign.
This one is just that the H fell off but since I was on a roll I took the picture.

This hand-written sign was placed on a toaster in the dining room. I think it means that the toaster doesn't work!

I can over-look this sign because it's hand written and there's a good chance the person who wrote it has English as a second language. It REALLY bothers me if a professional sign maker misspells words or a published book has misspellings or misuse of language. I learned that it's called linguistic chauvinism. The sad thing about all this is...I'm not perfect either! Oh well...enjoy the signs. I'll post some Disneyland pictures soon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Bit of Heaven?

The day started with a phone call to South Africa to talk to my son. It ended with a call from Houston to talk with my daughter.
Mother's Day and missionaries....a great combination!

Sandwiched in between were:
church, geraniums, lots of work, lots of visiting, family, and:

Andy's family came and joined the celebration. His 2 brothers, Tom and Ted, his Mom and Dad,

two sisters in law, Patty and Heather,

There were kisses,

good food,

fun...not sure for who - or is it whom?,

A pinata - in the replica of a mother?...

She knows how to deliver the goods...
Just ask Cyrus, he was hit in the eye by flying candy.

The trampoline monster, all the way from Albuquerque

Yes, a little bit of heaven to have all my family together (except the missionaries, of course) on Mother's Day!