Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank Heavens for friends!

Seriously! Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you didn't have your friends? I have a really hard time opening up to people and trusting people, so I value my friends a lot. The last couple of days have been really rough for me, and things didn't get any better today. Imagine my surprise when I came home and found a sweet email from my friend Jenni, who created an awesome new background for my blog for me! I have to admit, knowing that Jenni, who is busy with her family & kids, took the time to think of me and do something for me that would make me smile, brought a little moisture to my eyes! Thank you Jenni! I love you & am so happy for good friends!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ponderings of a hurting heart

Why does it always seem that burdens that seem too heavy to bear often come to us during the times of the year that should be the most joyful? I had a really hard time finding my Christmas spirit this year, so once I found a little bit of it, I decided to spend this Christmas season focusing only on my blessings and the gifts in my life.

Yesterday, I found out that a member of my family who I love very much is going through an extremely difficult time in his life that is going to have a large effect on our entire family and will significantly change my life. I'm trying very hard to focus on my family member and not feel sorry for myself for the changes this will bring in my life. I can't imagine what he is feeling and what he will be going through as he works through this. A part of me though, is busy feeling sorry for myself and not wanting anything in my life to change. There are many times when I feel like I'm barely hanging on as it is.

However, as I've had time to reflect last night and today, I find myself so incredibly grateful for the atonement, especially at this time. Without the ultimate sacrifice made for us by our Savior, my Savior, I don't know what I would do. I know that I am far, far, far from perfect & am so grateful that I am able to repent when I need to. I will never be able to properly show my gratitude to my Savior for what he's given to me.

I just finished reading a book I got for Christmas called The Christmas Sweater, by Glenn Beck. If you have not read it, I would strongly recommend that you do. Little did I know when I asked for this book how much I would truly need it right now. What a beautiful message it contains!! As I was finishing it up this afternoon, one line in particular struck me a great deal. "Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing that you're worthy of the trip." That's a hard one for me. I often have a hard time remembering that I'm worthy of the trip. But I am. I am worthy of the trip. My family member is worthy of the trip. You're worthy of the trip. Don't ever forget that.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas gifts....

So, we really had our Christmas last week, but I haven't ever posted the photos from it! We had a terrific Christmas. We enjoyed spending time together and having the spirit in our home. My favorite part of Christmas is watching my family open the gifts that I've had fun purchasing for them! Our focus this Christmas was Josh, because he needed some clothes for his trip. He hit the mother lode this year and was very happy with his gifts.

Josh got an i-Pod and a digital camera in addition to his cool new clothes.

My first ever i-Pod! I know, how lame is that? Years after they're big, I'm finally getting my first i-Pod and it's a Shuffle, not even a cool one! But I like it, so that's really all that matters!

And this little guy was such a surprise to open up! He's from my brother, who is as much of a Red Sox fan as I am. Isn't he cute?

Several months ago, I found this purse that I loved at a store in Blackfoot. I went in there a couple of times & it was always there. I loved it more each time I saw it! I was so excited to find out that my family remembered how much I loved it & I unwrapped it for Christmas! And I still love it!

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! I hope you are having a fantastic day and Christmas season with your families. This is a special, magical time of year and my prayer is that in the hustle and bustle of everything going on, that we are all able to take the time to cherish the true meaning of the season and the reason that we celebrate this time of year.

We here in Idaho are experiencing a winter wonderland! Personally, I am sick of it! It sure is beautiful though. After being outside in it, however, I am jealous of my nephew James, who is spending this Christmas in beautiful Puerto Rico, where he tells me it is 80 degrees! These are some photos I took this morning...

This is outside my front door:

This facing across the street from my house:

This is my back yard:

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm experiencing deja vu! It doesn't seem like it's been very long since the last time I posted about basketball. But this time, Josh is a freshman in high school(how in the heck did that happen?), and he's made his high school "C" team. They're about 6 games into the season. I got some pretty great photos at his game last Saturday, so here they are! Josh is number 33 and his best friend Cooper is number 15.

Josh goes to Snake River. As an Aberdeen alum, I was not ever a big fan of Snake River. And now I go to all sporting events and cheer for them. Josh doesn't appreciate me reviving some of my high school nicknames for his school, but they do make me laugh. Snake River is the home of the Panthers, and I have to admit, this mural is pretty darn cool.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I saw this on Jen's blog & just loved it. For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is the traditions and the memories. I love pulling out the Christmas boxes and thinking of all the memories that go along with each item.

Probably my very favorite part of Christmas is the bell tree. For my whole life, we have always had a special tree in our living room that is decorated with blue or white lights and silver bells. My dad gave my mom a silver bell every Christmas. There is one for every year of their marriage. This year the 48th bell will be hung on the tree. The bell tree is just beautiful, but the very best part of it i what it represents. I love to watch my mom put this tree up each year. Every bell is put up with reminiscences of the year etched on the bell. It just would not be Christmas without the bell tree.

We always have another tree, the tree that our ornaments go on. This is the fun tree! We add a new ornament every year, and each of them usually have a story. Here are some of my favorites...

I got this ornament right after my very first dog of my own died. Her name was Sally and I just loved her. I picked her out the day she was born & it broke my heart when she died. My parents gave this to me to remind me of Sally.

These elves have been a part of Christmas forever. My dad used to take them and hide them in little nooks everywhere around the house. We decided to make this tree this year a representative of our favorite ornaments, so I thought he belonged there.

This is one of our annual ornament additions. We actually got this at Bear World the first time we ever took James & Josh there after they came to live with us. We had such a terrific day & I love it that we have the ornament as a memory of that fun, especially now that the boys are getting older.

This little guy was chosen by James as one of the annual ornaments. He picked it because it's a skier and we all ski. Actually, James & Josh snowboard now, but wimpy me still skis.

This ornament is the only remaining ornament from the tree that my parents always had in their bedroom when I was little. They had it decorated in white lights and all pretty rose and blue ornaments. I remember that I used to love to go into their room and see their pretty tree. Looking at this ornament reminds me of being a little kid and the security of being taken care of by my mom & dad.


Christmas is normally my very favorite time of the year. I have been having a hard time this year, trying to get into the whole Christmas spirit. I am not sure why, but I've been having a very hard time getting enthused about anything to do with Christmas this year. Last weekend, we decided that we HAD to get the Christmas decorating done, because we are celebrating Christmas this weekend due to some family stuff. After we got the house done, I remembered why I love Christmas so much! The house is so pretty at Christmas. I love our Christmas decorations. So much of what we decorate the house with have been a part of Christmas in my family for as long as I can remember.

These cute little elves have always been one of my favorite parts of Christmas! I love these little guys! The flower arrangement in the sled is one that I made, as I make all of flower arrangements we use.

I love to decorate the mantel every year! Everyone in my family has one of these stockings. My mom made one for all of us. I love our stockings.

I love these two little snowmen! These guys were added to our Christmas about 5 years ago. They are absolutely adorable.

This is our front hall table. The flower basket is one that I did. I love the long legged Santa! I love decorations that are cute and a little bit quirky.

This Santa's a big favorite of mine. I saw him at a store right before Christmas three or four years ago and there was no way I could resist!

Bring on Christmas! I'm ready now!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Photography for a really good cause

I don't think I've posted anything about this on my blog, but in August, one of my sisters in law passed away. Lori battled breast cancer for 5 years. She fought a brave, strong battle with the loving support of my brother, their children, and all of our extended families. On August 15th, she lost that battle. she left behind a beautiful family--two grown daughters and four children still at home. With the strength of our beliefs that the separation is only temporary until we are all joined on the other side of the veil, my brother, nieces and nephew are surviving and thriving in their new world. My brother Bob & Lori's first grandchild will be born in April. Her name will be Lori Jade.

In honor of Lori's memory, my brother Bob is working with Dartmouth Hospital, where Lori received terrific treatment that helped to extend her life and quality of life, to help others who are battling cancer as well. One of the biggest obstacles that people who are fighting the battle of their lives with this insidious disease face is paying for their treatments and their medications. Single treatment can cost thousands and medications can run upwards of $500 a month!

My brother is a world class photographer. He is making his photography available to the general public. The website is still in the stages of being created, but he will have thousands of his beautiful photographs and hopefully some of Lori's own photography available for people to purchase for just one dollar a print! A portion of the proceeds from each purchase will go to a fund to help cancer patients to pay for their treatments and medications.

I would encourage everyone who visits this blog to go and check out the website. Browse through the photography and purchase a print to help those in need.

Here is the link and it will also be forever in my Blog links.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

I am not sure where in the world this year has gone to, but it is time again for the Christmas season! I love Christmas! I love the Christmas season. I love everything about the Christmas season! It's my favorite time of the year.

So, in the spirit of the season, a Merry Christmas from a couple of cute Santas--my two nieces Elise & Kelsey.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I'm not sure how in the world it happened, but somehow, it is the end of November, which means that it is the holiday season! I love this time of year. I love the holidays. I love spending time with my family. It is so easy this time of year to get caught up in all the commercialism leading into Christmas. That is a big part of what I love about Thanksgiving. There is no commercialism. It is truly a holiday to enjoy and be with your family and enjoy the feast.

Most days, I find myself focusing far too much on what is difficult in my life and on how my life is hard and it's not fair that I have to work so hard to get by. I love that this one day makes me stop and truly be thankful for what I have.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for a beautiful, warm, comfortable home. I am thankful for a good job that offers security for my family. I am thankful for a dependable car that allows me to get to work each day. I am thankful for a second job that is allowing me the opportunity to try to get my family ahead and possibly turn into a full time job in the future. I am thankful for a mom who gives of her time to help me make that second job successful!

I am thankful to have been blessed enough to be born in our country and be an American with the freedoms and privileges and responsibilities that go along with that right. I am thankful to have been born into a family that taught me right from wrong since birth and that has taught me the gospel. I am thankful for my knowledge of eternal life and the fact that I will be able to be with my family again when our earthly lives are over. I am thankful for the beautiful area that we live in. I am thankful for my New England heritage. I am thankful that I was raised to believe in tradition.

I am sure that if I had more time, I could easily come up with 100's more things that I am thankful for. But for now, I have a bunch of apples that are calling my name--the apple pies didn't get made yesterday, so I have to get them done real quick, before the turkey goes in at 10 am!

So to everyone, I wish you

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

8 things

8 things....

I saw this on Jen's blog and thought I would join in on the fun! Hope you do too!!!

8 Favorite TV shows
1-Army Wives
2-Wheel of Fortune
3-How I Met Your Mother
4-Amazing Race
5-Law & Order
6-Without a Trace

8 Things I did yesterday
3-went grocery shopping
4-fixed dinner
5-did a bit of work from home
6-watched a bit of TV
7-FHE with my family

8 THings I look forward to
1-Thanksgiving & some time off work!!!!
2-my weekly emails from James
3-Christmas shopping
4-getting my inspections job off the ground
5-regularly getting eggs from the chickens
6-finally finishing my kitchen by getting the tile countertops in
7-Josh's first season playing HS basketball(he made the team today!)
8-The Holidays

8 Favorite Restaurants
1-Olive Garden
2-Old Spaghetti Factory
3-The Melting Pot
4-Babe's Bakery
5-El Mirador
6-can't remember the name of it, but there is this TO DIE FOR seafood place in Hailey, ID that I love to go to whenever I'm there!

8 Things on my wishlist
1-A new car
2-A new digital camera--one that's more up to date & better suited for my insurance inspection job
3-A really terrific photo editing program
4-finally choosing a color to repaint my bedroom
5-more peace of mind
6-a week without Josh arguing
7-more time
8-enough money that I don't have to stress out every month

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have been so bad about posting lately! Life has been so crazy. I've had a change at work and am now working in a different department---actually the same department that I spent 4 years in before going to my last position. So it's a little bit like going home again, but with training on all the things that have changed in the last two years!

Between the new job and the insurance inspections, it seems like I'm running around like crazy all day long! But the inspections often take me to places that I really enjoy. On Saturday, we spent the day in Jackson Hole, Wy. For any of you who have not eve been there, it is just absolutely stunning. I love getting to go there. This weekend, for some reason, it looked like the Teton Mountains were so close!! I don't think I've ever seen that good of a view of the Grand Teton. The wildlife were out in abundance--we saw deer, elk, moose, and bison. It was a great day--I got to combine work with a terrific day with my family.