Friday, August 05, 2016

Summer Olympics!

Okay - normally I'm a big Olympic fan, as those who have read my blog in the past will attest to (lol). But this year I'm in a bit of a funk over the whole thing.

First - Rio.  Okay, I'm not against  Brazil at all, I think it's awesome that they got the games.  I'm just worried about how this is going to shake out.  Between their struggle to keep security personnel, getting rooms ready for the athletes, and the water issues (let's not even comment on the zitka stuff), I'm worried that this might be a backlash they will suffer from for a while.  I hope the games go well for them and that they profit from them.  I really do.

I'm not looking forward to the opening ceremonies, and I'm not able to record them, so that won't be a worry.  Just an FYI if you were planning on watching them as a family?  They have been billed as the sexiest opening ceremonies ever.  Remember this is the party capitol of the world for carnival type events, and the usual is the less they wear the better.  They toned it down quite a bit in RIO the movie.

I'm also upset (AS USUAL) with the politics behind the games.  sigh.  Already there's a big to do about the Russians and the drug testing... (kind of not really a surprise, but really?)  And then there's the US Women's Gymnastics team that isn't letting the 5th member compete in certain events because of some kind of maneuvering.  I'm wondering if there isn't something about race, but I don't want to go there.  Gabby is a sweetheart, and I don't think she has a lot of say.

My hubby says they ought to take the games back to Greece and leave them there.

I like having them in different countries!  I like seeing bits about their culture.  When our family was younger, we used to commonly eat foods from where ever the games were happening, etc.  We had quite the tea party when they were in England.

However, I do think the world economy is not what it was, and that it's really a struggle for some of these countries to have the cost of the games.  And I think it's ridiculous how much they charge for tickets!!  Is it about the games and the athletes or about how much money they make???

Oh well...I don't continue on that vein, it's not pretty.


If you're like me you're going to end up watching as much of the games as you can (as they're all on tape delay if you don't have cable, dish, or whatever) and enjoying every minute of them.

Try not to plot murder against the stupid judges and just enjoy the evens and the idea that these athletes have dreamed about this moment for years.  Some of them since they were little children.

I think some of the food sounds's a site that gives some ideas.  I want to try the pastels!!

Thursday, August 04, 2016

I want to live like Po

I've been thinking about this post for a long time.  Every time I see KungFu Panda 3, I'm reminded that I want to express some thoughts about it.  Right now I should be painting instead of writing, but that's the way I rock.
Whenever I have a chance to paint, I want to write.  When I should be writing, I want to be cooking.  When I should be doing something is when I typically would rather be doing something else.  Sigh.  It's a terrible cycle.  And when you're an adult, sometimes you just make yourself do things, right?  Because you know you're supposed to...
Well, sometimes.
Anyway - back to my point.
Have you ever thought about the key points of that movie?  Have you ever realized the corollary to the gospel?

In the first one, Po discovers that he doesn't need a secret ingredient to become what he needs to be.  He is already there.  He needs to just realize that he's special on his own.  He didn't need a 'special sauce'.
We don't need anything special to be the best we can be.  We are already children of a God who loves us and only wants us to return and live with him.  There is no secret.  The gospel has been proclaimed world wide for over 2000 years.
Each day is a gift from a loving Father who wants us to CHOOSE to be happy.  To make better
choices each day.

In the second one, he needs to find inner peace to have the strength he needs to over come his past and be content in the present.  What has happened to him made him what he was, but didn't need to make him bitter or angry.
Each of us can choose to be victims of our circumstances, or we can choose to be happy in our lives.  My husband is always telling me that he's amazed by my life - that I'm not a prostitute somewhere or strung out on drugs.  The life of a foster child is not always a happy tale - and mine wasn't all flowers and rainbows.  But I am basically a happy person, and I didn't feel sorry for myself.  I still don't.
 I have ALWAYS felt the love of my Savior and Heavenly Father, even when I was down, deep inside I knew they were there and cared for me.  Despite the mistakes and missteps I made along the way.  (continue to make!)  Po always knew he had a father that loved him, even though he felt the adopted child's desire to know who his true parents were, he managed to overcome that and be happy with the knowledge that he had a loving father and it didn't matter what else had happened to him.
But the last movie pulls them altogether and you realize that it's simple.
Christ told his disciples that they needed to be as a child.  (Matthew 18:3–4).  Many people struggle with that every day.  We have to be innocent?  We have to be simple??  No...we need to remember that LIFE is simple.

Po is always humble!  Even though he's the Dragon Warrior, he's willing to learn.  Always aware that there is more to be explored, and learned.  He is like a child.  Just when you think there's a cool part in the movies, he does something that is just like what you or I would do.  We mess up.  Like when he goes to rescue his friends in the second one and he's standing on the roof with a hat on his head and he's declaring that he's going to stop Shen.  It sounds way cool and inspiring until you are down at the boats and they can't hear him.  He throws the hat and it floats....that kind of stuff.  We think we have it down, and that we're going to be the stuff of heros to the WORLD, and it fails.  Because the world is not what's important.  WE are.  Our learning, our growth. What we can take with us after we leave is what's important.

Po loves his fathers.  Both of them.  Children love their parents!  Sometimes they get mad because they don't get their way, but they love.  I can still hear the chorus of Daddy! my husband would get when he came home.  He'd do a quick shift to the side so they wouldn't all head butt him in the groin, but they knew he loved them back.  It's only now that they are adults that they are confused and lost.  sigh.

While he was discovering what it mean to be a panda, Po experienced life.  He enjoyed EACH DAY!  Children don't live in the can't waits.  I remember as a child I wanted Christmas to come, but I didn't WAIT till it came, life was too much fun.  Every DAY was fun.  What new imaginary thing could I come up with?  What new friend would I meet?  Children are happy to go visit Grandma, go to the park, play with the dog, help mom fold clothes...
We need to be happy in the moment.  Live each day to it's fullest.  You don't want to dwell on regrets...and certainly don't want to add more to the list.

And one of my favorite parts of Panda 3?  We can all become the best US.  His people didn't have to become like Shifu to learn kung fu.  They didn't have to change, just become the best they could at what they did. Po was able to recognize that, and become the teacher he was supposed to be - much like Shifu taught him after discovering there was a difference in his abilities.  Each of us learn in different ways, and each of us have different abilities - gifts - talents.
A child is just learning what those abilities are.  The world is a wide open book full of possibilities.  And children are eager to share, to help, to love.  EAGER.

Once a child learns a skill, they feel confident in it.  They share it.  They use it.  Our challenge is to continue learning, to continue sharing.  We can feel confidence without being prideful.  We can be excited without being boastful.  We can share without being demeaning.
We can be as a child in so many ways...but it's a determination to have Christ in our hearts.  To help him find that child within us.
The child that loves everyone unconditionally.  EVERYONE.  A child that wants everyone to have food, clothes, a home, a family.

Anyway - I'm still not sure this expresses everything I wanted to say and share.  If I've offended anyone, that wasn't my intent.

I hope that you are happy in where you are, with what you are doing and who you are.  (now I sound like YODA, lol)

Remember Jesus Christ loves you.  Have an excellent day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Okay, all of you who love this fruit, stand up and cheer!  It's watermelon day!  We happen to have a large one we purchased last Saturday, and have been enjoying in small bits...we have a fruit salad going for dinner.  My hubby and I had bowls of it for a to love it COLD when it's 100 outside.  :)

What's your favorite way to eat it?  Have you had it frozen?  It's awesome.  When I was on my mission I was craving it SOO bad, and we found a health food store (cause like there's one on almost every corner in Oregon, ya know, lol) that had watermelon popsicles!  They were just the thing.

Well...everyone enjoy.  I know we will.

Monday, August 01, 2016

So....It's back to reality...

My daughter commented that it's been three weeks since I've posted, and I apologize...but I've been busy!  lol  First we had the cruise that you've heard about...
and then a lovely birthday party for my cousin in California - can't believe she's 70!  She doesn't look like it...unfortunately, I was brain dead and didn't take any pictures.  sigh.  what's a camera in a phone for again???

Anyway - and then we went to Island Park for about 10 days.  First we took granddaughters up...

They had lots of fun.

So did grandpa, lol

Then the rest of the kids came up and we went to some favorite spot...Mammoth Hot Springs - so awesome!
But it was hot and REALLY crowded as usual, so we didn't do much besides go visit the Buffalo grounds and then head back.

We floated down the river twice this time.  It was soooo nice.  I even have a video clip of the moose...

It was even better because I didn't burn!!  poor hubby got a little red on the legs one of the days, and my youngest son doesn't seem to know how to put it on right the first time, some of them got a little crispy.

I just love the flowers up there.  They had so many sego lillies too!  I am thinking about trying to paint some.

Well...only two weeks left till I start have loads to to, as I've been gone so much, lol.  Got to get some food in the house now...  So, have an excellent day!

And just to make it even's National Raspberry pie day...which is soo awesome.  I like a cobbler version in the dutch oven outside, lol.  

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Chocolate day!!

Okay - so it's been a crazy summer so far, and I haven't posted as often as I'd like, but today I have a moment, so I'm posting about one of my favorite things!!  Chocolate!  Today is Chocolate day, so everyone go get your chocolate on!!  There's something for everyone, right?  From white chocolate to incredibly dark chocolate (not for the faint of heart)...  personally, I like the Dove dark chocolate...hmmmm  just melts in your mouth smooth and creamy at the same time.  :)

Just in case you need a laugh today...

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

I love cruisin.....

That's where we've been for the past week, on a cruise!!  I am so excited to share pictures with you!  Now...just a heads up, I don't take selfi's...and my hubby doesn't like photos either, but he was a great sport this trip and let me take some of him.  I tried to take some of us, but they didn't turn out well...we do have one or two taken on the cruise ship, so I'll try and scan them in.  :)  It could have been a disaster from day one, but we were so blessed - I have to tell you, Heavenly Father was really watching over us.  We stopped at a rest area on the way into Idaho, and the car died.  I mean, it would literally not start!  The battery was stone dead.  We had a road worker stop that had a charger, and he charged it for us and told us where the nearest 24 hour wal mart was...and so we headed directly into Boise to find the Wal Mart and get the battery.  Hubby got to buy new tools because he'd forgotten to bring any with on this trip...which is a first, let me tell you.  He's the prepared in the Scout motto...he's always got tools and stuff should something happen.  Well...for some reason it didn't get brought this time.  Probably because I was the one that packed the car, lol.
So, we made it to our hotel, and the next morning we went and had the battery tested.  It was dead, so he installed the new battery and we were on our way.  No more problems the rest of the trip!!  So, just imagine the different locations we could have been stuck!!  It's enough to give you nightmares.  ;)
We started out driving through Oregon, stopping at the Portland Temple.  It's soooo gorgeous!  We got to do sealings, and it was awesome.  :)  Had dinner in the cafeteria, and just saying, if you get a chance...they have the BEST key lime cheese cake.  :)
Then we drove to Seaside...  which was one of my favorite places in Oregon.
This is from 2014 when we went with my mother-in-law ...but it was the same place we went - this time it was sunny  though.  There was several volleyball tournaments going on and people digging in the sand for clams. We had breakfast at the Shilo Inn which has a restaurant right on the beach, it was wonderful.  We went out onto the beach and found a whole sand dollar!! That's the first time I've ever found one.  :)  

Then we went up to Long Beach, which I vaguely remembered from my mission...we drove out onto the beach and enjoyed that for a moment, and then went on.

We drove up to Kent, which is where hubbies niece lives with her hubby.  It was fun to see her again.  We went with her to the Seattle temple...which I forgot to take a picture of!!!  :(  Dang!  It was way fun.  We did sealings there too...and then went home and got take out for our anniversary...which was Saturday the 25th.  30 years people!!  :)  I love this man.

Anyway -then after a rough night (unfortunately...he slept on an air mattress that went flat in the middle of the night...and that did not good things to his back...) we got up and went to church and came home and had breakfast before loading everything up and having them drop us off at the dock.

We went on the Ruby Princess.  This is the third time we've gone on a cruise, but we realized just today that it's been 10 years since the last time...  so I guess it's been a while, lol.  We've been talking about it forever!!  As you can see it was a gorgeous day...and check in went pretty smooth...we were onboard ship and unpacked by 2:30!  We went out to the main pool area and I watched hubby dance...I danced some, but this dang knee doesn't let me do as much as I'd like.  :(  He's awesome though...ever seen the movie Speed 2?  There's a scene where they're dancing up on deck, and that's basically the same idea.  It was way fun.  We had to laugh...we were getting ready to leave on Sunday and someone said they remembered us dancing on that first day.  He was all embarrassed...I thought it was great.  We're infamous, lol.

Anyway - it was pretty rough seas that night an into the next day.  Hubby was a little on the seasick side...but thankfully it went away and he was able to enjoy.

Our first stop was Ketchikan 

One of it's claim to fame is the street for the women...
  here's a photo of hubby by the street sign...
and then  some more of the fun buildings.    They also had gorgeous stream behind that used to be higher...  One of the locals said they don't get snow's too warm.  They get rain ...lots of rain.
We found lots of fun goodies for grandchildren...I'm afraid we bought more for them than for the kids...oh well, that's what you get when you're adult, right?  Mom and dad don't think of you  Our granddaughters were happy.
Here's a shot of the movie screen area...I liked the fish mural under it.  I'm thinking it would be fun to paint in my hall bathroom which is a ocean scene thing.  So far it's just the sand and sky, lol.
This is a glacier we could see on the way to Juneau.  It was awesome.  Then in Juneau we didn't go on any of the excursions...we just walked around, 

I didn't know that there was a USS was shot down in the pacific and if I remember right, almost everyone died...10 of whom were actually from Juneau.  They had a memorial right there at the docks.  It was really a neat dock...the benches were comfy and there were water catchers that would flip and ring on a pipe, almost like ringing bells, all up the dock.

This is a shot from the back of the can see the docks where some cool yachts were tied up, and the Holland American ship that was just above us.  It was about a third larger...maybe than our was huge.  We got to see bald eagles too!  They were flying around the ships, and then landed on a tree right in front of where the tram rides went.  They just sat there and looked at us.  I couldn't get a decent shot on my phone...they just look like white dots in the trees.  Here's a shot of my hubby looking at them with the binocs though...

They had some fun stores...we were already foot sore though, for some reason, and it was all we could do to walk around the main street area.  We had done the tram ride when we'd come 10 years before, so we weren't interested.  There was the usual amazing flowers again...  I'm trying to decide which ones to paint.

After Juneau was Skagway, and it's pretty much a tourist town maintained by the forest service.  All the main street buildings are restored, and it's like a museum walking through them.  It was fascinating.  They have a train ride up to Canada, and just amazing stuff.  We took a bus ride to a small glass blowing factory, which had amazing stuff...but it was so expensive!! I bought two little glass flowers that you stick in your plant and pour water into.  They're so lovely...  lol

We didn't pay for the tour of the glass blowing was $13 per person...and we were feeling stingy.  I mean, I'd already bought the flower waterers, lol.

We went into one store that was a Christmas store and this kid comes walking up to us and says, you're from Utah, aren't you?  He was from our home town, knew my sister, and it was amazing.  I couldn't believe it.  There were a couple of other cashiers from the state in the t-shirt store.  Many of them like to go work for the summer and come back when school starts.  I wish I'd known about Alaska back then...although I did manage to do that in Jackson Lake and Jacob Lake...  Alaska would have been more fun than Jacob Lake, lol.

We went to this store because the kid had told us about it, and found some great jam for my daughter and her husband.  We almost got one of the fry breads, but we'd already had some ice cream...
We went back to the docks after we were done shopping, and hubby had to pose in front of the Disney ship to give my brother-in-law a bad time.  He keeps saying he needs to take his daughter on a Disney cruise...well, there's one that goes to Alaska!
Some of the scenery was just so gorgeous.  The water was a different color...I''m thinking it was partial glacier water.  Then the mountains in the background...  It was amazing.  One of the people we sat with at dinner told us about going up to the glaciers and climbing around on them and even drinking water from them.  I wasn't sure I'd want to do that, lol.
Anyway - the last stop was Victoria Island.  I was way excited because I've never been to Canada more than the bus ride from the airport to the cruise terminal when we went 10 years ago and started in Vancouver, BC.  They sealed the bus so we didn't need to have was bizarre.  :)  I tried to get a shot with the dock name behind us, but I guess I don't know how to do this well...get great shots of hubby though!  ;)
We rode a bus into town, and walked around.  It was so much fun.  One store had a large stuffed bear had to take a photo with hubby.  He's so awesome.  :)
Then we went into an Irish store...and it was great stuff, but sooo expensive.  They had some neat calligraphy done with wax seals, and I would have loved to have picked one up, but the cheapest print was $ took a picture instead...  I think I might make this a new rule for grandma's house..

Then we went down to a smaller dock...and it was great, they had a farmer's market going, and there were two girls playing what looked like box harps...they were really good, too.

We walked along there and listened to the music and generally enjoyed the whole feel.  It was marvelous.
Then we headed back to the bus, and I spotted some beautiful roses!

I might end up painting some of these...we'll see.  Like I said, I found many items of inspiration up there.  Right behind the roses was a bush that was created of orca.

It was really well done.  Then we headed back to the docks and our boat, and got ready to head home.  It was bittersweet...we loved our cruise and didn't want to get on the ship because we knew we'd be getting off it in around 12 hours.  :(   oh well.  We've decided that we're not waiting 10 years to go again, and that we might talk the kids into going.  They all want to...every time we talk about it, they want to all go, so we'll see how well they save their money.
So...there you have it.  Our travelogue of our anniversary trip.
Seattle was crazy...I'm not sure I'd want to live there - and I thought Utah had some crazy freeways!  This place would drive me nuts.  I would live with googlemaps or something directing me...
We stopped in a little town in Idaho on the way was kind of scary after coming off the luxury that is a cruise ship...stark wake up call.  sigh.  The forest was gorgeous though.  I tried to just enjoy every moment, and not think about how long it might be till we return.  Who knows, right? home in time for BBQ with family before hubby had to turn in for EARLY morning today.
Excellent life, I tell ya.  I've been SO blessed.
Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe it's been 30 years.  Look at this face, can you believe it???
We were such babies, lol

It definitely doesn't feel like it's been 30 years.  I have a hard time believing my oldest are turning 29.  sigh.

We've been through a lot over the years...

and 7 kids later...

I wouldn't trade any of them...or anything.

I love this man, and all he does for me...all the support he's given me over the years...from my writing to my painting and all the insanity between...

He's still the best thing that ever happened to me.

The only thing higher in priority is my Savior, Jesus Christ.

And I know my man is a gift from my Lord, so, hey, blessings all around.  :)

This is my favorite photo of him.  Sigh.  He's so handsome.
Well...anyway, thought I'd share why I'm so happy each day, and especially today.

Happy Anniversary my Love.  Here's to another 30!