Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner and celebration! There were 24 of us for dinner and it was delicious and great to be together. After dinner we went to "Tangled" the 3D movie, which we really enjoyed.

Our Thanksgiving table for 24

Enjoying the meal

Thanksgiving Ladies

Jenny and Trevor

Hammer Family

Keith and Janet

A highlight of our Thanksgiving weekend was going to the temple with Michael for his first time as he prepares to be a missionary. It was such a joy to be in the temple with so much of our family! After we went to Olive Garden for dinner and continued to enjoy one another's company.

It's all good!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Michael's Surprise

Rich and I had tickets to Michael Dowdle's concert on Saturday, November 20th in Sandy. We really enjoy Michael's guitar music and he's in our ward.

Michael Rife was supposed to come from Hawaii on Tuesday, November 23 for Thanksgiving. He called Rich a couple of weeks before and said he didn't need to go to any classes the week of Thanksgiving and so they changed his ticket and kept it a secret from everyone.

Rich's friend, Harrison, and his family offered to get Michael from the airport so that the surprise would be complete. So when I came out of the concert on Saturday night in the lobby of the Sandy City Hall there was Michael! It was such a great surprise because I really had no idea. Harrison even got this great picture of the moment:

The fun continued as we brought him home and surprised Brian and then Jenny and Trevor. Annie, also, was very happy to see her boy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Pepero/Veterans Day

November 11th, in addition to being Veteran's Day, is also Pepero Day in Korea. Pepero are fun pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and everyone gives them to each other on 11-11. I sent packages of pepero to NY, Hawaii and Layton and gave them to the kids in our home and delivered them to Todd at work and to my parents.

At 7 am I got a "hey tell" thank you message from the Hammers in Layton, and later a text thank you from Michael, and this cute picture from the Buchanans in NY:

I also got to join my Mom and Dad (my favorite veteran) for lunch at Applebys where they got free meals for veterans, and then they paid for mine :)

And I thought this full-page ad was a lovely sentiment from Korea to America on Veterans day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To Hotmail and Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy

Dear Hotmail:

Why is it not possible for you to stop hackers from getting into your system and sending links to the Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy to everyone in my address book? It has happened to me and to many of my friends. I have permanently closed my hotmail account.

Dear Canadian Neighbor Pharmacy:

Is it because you think it's funny to have all my friends receive an email with a link suggesting viagra, or do you really think you will make some sales this way? At any rate, I don't like you and would never buy anything from your site.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Month and Children Colors

In previous posts I have talked about my colors for the days and numbers and words. I thought I'd share my month colors. I struggled a bit because there are 12 months, and only six rainbow colors, so I use red, blue and yellow (the primary colors and my personal favorites) and green twice and I've added brown and pink. The summer months are connected to the blooming flowers of the month for me.

JANUARY ~ snowflakes and skiing
FEBRUARY ~ love, Valentines, Jenny's birth month & favorite color
MARCH ~ St Patrick's day
APRIL ~ Daffodils are blooming
MAY ~ Forget-me-nots are blooming, which are really periwinkle, but close to purple
JUNE ~ Geraniums, I love the bright red blooms
JULY ~ Fourth of July - red, white and BLUE
AUGUST ~ Sunflowers
SEPTEMBER~ GO back to school and Laura's birth month & favorite color
OCTOBER ~ Halloween, pumpkins, fall leaves
NOVEMBER ~ Thanksgiving and turkeys (sorry Mary, even though this is your birth month, it's just not Red, your favorite color, but next month is! and your name is Mary which is after Jesus' mother, so next month really is your month)
DECEMBER ~ Christmas Red and green

I like the symmetry of March and September being green, and January and July being blue and June and December being red, and the "A" months are yellow.

Speaking of my children, they each have a color in my mind, as well. And I have a charm bracelet with a little charm person for each of them, not in their birth month gems, but in the color they are to me.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Leaf Pillows

One of the blogs I subscribe to on google reader is called Tip Junkie and I saw this idea there and couldn't resist making these cute fall leaf pillows out of placemats from Walmart that were on clearance. I think they'll have a home on the porch swing.

Our Favorite Trick-or-Treaters

Mary surprised us and brought the kiddies down to trick-or-treat. We were so happy to see our little Alvin, and two darling lady bugs!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Michael's Mission Call

Michael has been called to serve in the
Korea, Seoul Mission!

He will report to the MTC on March 23rd. We could not be more thrilled!

In 2001 Rich was called to be mission president over the Korea, Daejeon mission, we were asked to go to Salt Lake so that he could be set apart. Elder L. Tom Perry set Rich apart as mission president and Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi set me apart as his companion. Elder Perry very kindly shook hands and visited with each family member there. When he shook hands with 9-year-old Michael he said, "Study Korean the three years that you are there so that you can go back as a missionary." Michael has believed ever since that he would serve his mission in Korea. Of course, he realized that he could be sent somewhere else and was willing to go wherever called, but in his heart he felt he would serve in Korea.

A few weeks ago Rich commented to Michael that Korea has been his destiny, but perhaps Korea is not Michael's. But Michael replied that he felt that Korea was his destiny as well. He said that when he sees Korean people, he feels close to them and he loves Korean food.

We've been waiting for the call for a few days, expecting that it would come on Wednesday. Rich must have called me seven times to see if the mail had come. Finally it did come, but no mission call. Rich then suggested that I call the post office to see if more mail had come in since our delivery that day. Surprisingly, this was a great suggestion. I called the post office and a kind man said that there would be no more mail today, but if I called before 8:30 in the morning and it was there, then we could come pick it up instead of waiting for home delivery. Thursday morning I called the post office at 8:15 and was told the mission call was there! (this could only happen in Utah) Rich went straight down to get it and then immediately got it sent off through FedEx overnight to Hawaii.

Rich tracked the package on the computer and reported to us when it left California, arrived in Honolulu and was delivered to the mail center at BYUH at 5:15 pm Utah time. Michael went right over to pick it up and told us to get everyone on ichat at 6 pm.

Michael got the package and walked over to the Hawaii temple and sat down under a tree to open it by himself. He said people were walking by him and probably wondering what he was doing under a tree crying.

A little before six we got on ichat with Mary, Brian, Jenny and Trevor in Layton, Laura and Alan and kiddies in New York, Keith, Jill, Alysha, Rich, Janet, Gramps and Gram in Orem, and Michael in Laie. We could tell as soon as we saw Michael's face that he had been crying, I thought it must be good news, I couldn't imagine that he would be crying out of disappointment. He told us he was called to Korea and there wasn't a dry eye anywhere. It just felt right. Our whole family is SO happy!

Michael will be an amazing missionary and we are so thrilled that he is going to Korea!

It is all SO good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why I Love Visiting Teaching

I have a testimony of visiting teaching. I believe it is God's way of allowing us to serve each other and fulfill our baptismal covenants to "mourn with those that mourn; yea and comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places." (Mosiah 18 :9) It is also such a perfect system for knowing and caring for the needs of all His daughters.

I became a visiting teaching at age seventeen when I entered Relief Society as a freshman at BYU, so I have been visiting teaching for about 35 years. I love visiting teaching! I'll admit that some months are easier than others for actually getting it done. But I don't believe I have missed many months in my 35 years. I consider visiting teaching a stewardship that God has given me to watch over those I have been assigned to visit.

It hasn't always been easy. I remember one sister I visited who acted kind of irritated every time I called to make an appointment. She would say, "Well, I guess we have to jump through the Relief Society hoops for one more month." When we were visiting her, I asked her what she meant by that and if we were doing something that bothered her. She confessed that she didn't really like Relief Society or anything to do with it, because her stepmother had been unkind about forcing her to Relief Society when she was a young adult, and she felt that we, as her visiting teachers just came out of a sense of duty.

I explained to her that indeed we had taken our assignment to visit her in the beginning out of a sense of duty, but in fact, as we had been coming to visit her for a few months now and had gotten to know her, we now came out of friendship and because we liked her and visiting her home. She was softened by that, and we became even better friends. Even though I don't live in the same ward with her now, when we see each other, we are genuinely happy to greet each other as friends.

I once moved into a new ward in early March, with a new baby, my fifth-- and wintry weather all around. I didn't have carpools for my kids or really get to know anyone in my neighborhood because of it being winter. But I was assigned as a visiting teacher, and when I met my partner and we went to visit our sisters, I immediately felt a part of my ward and felt that I had friends. My own visiting teachers came to visit me and again, I felt that I had instant friendships. Some of those sisters are still my dear friends.

As a grandmother, I was assigned a partner and sister to visit who could have been my daughters. On the first visit, I felt "old." They were talking about their kids in elementary school and I was past that stage and felt I had nothing to say. But as we continue to visit month after month, each month became easier, and I felt friendship blossoming in spite of our age differences. Now I consider these two sisters my dear friends-- and that wouldn't have happened without visiting teaching!

I have also been blessed by loving visiting teachers. I haven't always had visiting teachers who visited me every month. But I have had some dear visiting teachers who have been consistent and loving in their visits to me. I specifically remember when I gave birth to my sixth baby and my visiting teachers brought the most delicious meal to my family. There were plenty of leftovers, which I enjoyed for lunch for several days after. I am always touched when my visiting teachers have been consistent in visiting me every month, taking time our of their own busy schedules for me.

Another blessing of visiting teaching is visiting one another in our homes. As a "stay-at-home" mother, I have felt that no one saw my "workplace" or knew of all the effort I put into creating a home. My visiting teachers have often indulged me as I show them some craft I was working on or just commented on something beautiful in my home. It feels good to have friends come into your home and notice the work you have done.

Visiting teaching is like any other gospel principle-- you have to do it to gain a testimony of it. You can't have a testimony of tithing without paying your tithing. You can't have a testimony of the Word of Wisdom without actually obeying it. You have to get out there month after month and GO visiting teaching in order to feel the power of the love and friendship that WILL happen if you just do it.

Visiting teaching has blessed my life, and I hope that my doing of it has blessed the lives of others. I know that it is God's way of allowing us to watch over and serve each other, but we can only know that if we do it.

I reposted this so that the format would be more readable and in the process I lost the three comments which had already been made :(