Monday, September 29, 2008

Bem-Vindo a Madeira

Well, we left Lisbon this morning at a crazy early hour and we have spent the day on Madeira Island, in Funchal, which TL and I think is the BEST! We have had a grand time touring, spending money and going on a wild tobaggan ride down the hills with a couple of semi-drunk guide runners. We think this place is going to be our favorite, beautiful scenery and very friendly people. The ocean is gorgeous and it is a semi-tropical island. Chao!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sabbath in Lisbon

Hello again-I FINALLY have access to the computer without being under pressure. Us moms cannot forget to write to our missionaries~~We just got back from church in town. It was really great. Thank heavens for the language of the gospel, because our Portuguese is sadly lacking~even with our Spanish background. It sounds a lot different~we can read it but it is more difficult to understand the spoken language. The ward was really small, there were 3 sets of missionaries, all from the US that pretty much ran the ward. They don´t have a Bishop. We thought that was interesting, but did´t ask questions. But the hymns are the same whereever you go, the gospel language is the same and the Spirit is the same....... Adios for now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Night in Lisbon

Hello all! We are just getting ready to go to bed- and your day has just begun! (can't get used to that yet) We had a FABULOUS tour today to a town called Sintra-we toured a palace that was originally a monastery built in the 1500s. I have tons of photos I wish I could share-I think we are finally getting used to the time change. Tomorrow we are going to a ward in Lisbon-trying out a portuguese sacrament meeting. We have found if we speak Spanish that we can communicate very well with our Portuguese friends. Chao for now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

End of Day 2

Hi All! We slept like logs last night. We had a city tour today....took a few photos....I have to be brief because there is a line for the computer! The city is amazing-it is a typical European city, jam packed together-beautiful scenery-good food-we ate some amazing pastries this morning-kind of like creme brulee with a flaky crust-yum! We are headed out to the "docas" or docks along the banks of the River Tagus to eat. We have managed so far not to get pickpocketed or ripped off. We find that most of the people understand Spanish so we are having a great time visiting with the shopkeepers. As far as is very different than Spanish! Chao for now!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bom dia Lisboa!

Hi Mom! We made it! We are here after being crunched and contorted like a pretzel for 11 hours. We are now going on a walk to "wake up" and take some photos. AZ time: 1 AM, Lisboa: 9 AM

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bon Voyage

I've just finished about eleventy hundred loads of laundry.
I've just completed a detailed two page letter of instructions for my family while I am gone, do you think they will read it?

Happy Birthday!

I'm in the midst of packing and planning and preparing to leave early tomorrow but I am sending out a BIG Happy Birthday to little A......He is a BIG three years old today. He is the image of his daddy and it has been a delight to watch him because he even has the same mannerisms and walks the same way his daddy did! So here's a little more to share from the big party last weekend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Two Major Annoyances of the Day

1. Mother Nature came to visit me last night. Usually a semi-minor annoyance except Mother Nature visited me three weeks ago today and the thought of Mother Nature visiting me while traveling 11 hours on an airplane and contemplating the size of airplane bathrooms, and those who use them prior to me, well, I am very miffed.

2. Dr. G's office didn't bother to tell me that they had found a substitute for me until 5 pm today after I finally called them and asked them if the sacred Dr. G was in the office today-I hadn't received any dictation. I have a nasty feeling they may decide to keep the sub indefinitely when I return. Not a nice thing to think about 2 days before leaving on an extended trip. He'll come crawling back......he did once before!

I'm Happy to Report That

I have very good teeth............for an old lady!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday Flashback or La Cita Primera

This last week in Spanish class we have been studying the past imperfect verb tense. This has bugged me for years, trying to figure out how it worked. I am happy to report that I finally get it! (doin' the happy dance here)

This tense is used when speaking of what you used to do, or what you were doing.

(Be patient-I'm getting to the point of my Friday flashback)

One of the questions we had to practice was "que hacias en tu primera cita?" (or something like that-can't remember exactly how to say it.....or in other words, what did you do for your first date?

Now...I am in a class of 20 year olds. They can ramble on for hours recalling the tiniest details of their first I actually couldn't remember the name of the guy!

So here's my Friday flashback point here......

This is me in the olden days. This was actually not my first official guy ask girl date. This was the famous (infamous?) Gold and Green Ball-I had to BEG my parents to let me go on a very large group date because I actually wasn't........ahem........16 yet. (I know I risk the wrath of the as yet not 16 yr old girl child in my household) This is me and Randy prior to the big dance posing with our VERY LARGE youth group.....(watch the hand there buddy!)

This dance created mass hysteria amongst the women folk of the ward, trying to figure out who was going to pair up with who.....taking into account all the romances or ex-romances at the time......planning our dresses.....I actually don't even rememer the dance part-but I vividly remember this part-meeting together in a parent's house in a very large group, getting our flowers awkwardly pinned on-posing for photos.

And I actually do remember my first date......we went on a double date, me, Eddie, (see I remembered the name at about 9 pm later that night!), Linda and Bobby. We went to the

drag races

very romantic.

My partner in Spanish asked me (in Spanish) did you get a kiss?

My response? (I learned a new verb!)

Me hui! (I fled!)

Alright, Already

Busy day....sorry about the delay.....



Boston? Nice-Boston in the fall is awesome, but nope.

Africa??? ha ha ha

Nauvoo?-great place. No

Hawaii?-wrong way-we're going east.

Texas-naw-I don't want to float away

A couple of NYC's-that's nice, we actually are coming close to that area.

Can you guess yet?Got a clue?

Me either.

It's Lisbon, Portugal

Four days in Lisbon and four days in

Funchal, Madeira Island

I wish I spoke Portuguese!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My [new] Red Suitcase

I just purchased this happy little number. "Be different!" I concluded, rembering the times when collecting luggage from the baggage claim and watching endless rows of black upon black upon black suitcases file by, and grabbing the wrong bag numerless times....

So why would I post my latest red acquisition? But of course, it's a trip! A week from today we will be winging our way to parts eastward and me kicking and screaming at least half way there.

I came to the startling conclusion recently that I do not like to travel. I like my routine, I like sleeping in my own bed. I like my home. I hate long rides on airplanes and cars. I realized this when reflecting on trips as a child, I would either get sick or be unsettled for a few days prior to the trip. (i apologize mom!)

The following is time line that proceeds as soon as TL announces, "We're going to ........[you fill in the blank]

1. Six months to a year before trip: I am truly excited. I pencil in the dates. "Way cool!" I think. My enthusiasm depends upon how far away the trip is scheduled on the calendar.

2. Two to six months before the trip: I have managed to successfully ignore the fact that I am going on said trip in two to six months. I shove the thought of the trip out of my brain as soon as it touches my consciousness.

3. One month to two weeks before trip: I realize, yes, I have to face going on the trip. I begin to panic, as I realize that I have do schedule work, school, kids, church, appointments, food....etc. etc. I reluctantly begin to make plans.

4. Two weeks to one week before trip: My enthusiasm increases slightly when I purchase a few new clothes for trip, but then wanes when I realize I do have to go on said trip.

5. One week before trip: I panic, realizing I have one week left. I begin to think, "I can't go on this trip! I have x,y,z to do!" or "we can't afford to go on this trip!"

6. Night before trip: I finally pack, usually overpack, worrying that I might need some article of clothing or medicine on trip. I sleep restlessly.

7. Day of trip: We wake up early, I am groggy, pull myself together, stomach churning, to get to airport.

8. We take off: I finally relax a little, realizing that maybe it is okay to enjoy trip-but then realize we have ....... more hours until we get there.

9. Return home: Wow-we had an incredible time-but boy, am I glad to be home!

So just for fun, can you guess where we are going this time???? (No fair guessing immediate family-you already know!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just checking in

Life is kinda busy these days.
Trying to keep up with the house, the kids, school, work, church.
Getting ready for my next adventure.
I'll share tomorrow.
Gotta go visiting teaching now.
Signing off.........

Friday, September 12, 2008

Go Team!

Yesterday was the high school swim meet.
Miss Liss is on the team.
We went to the meet and watched her swim.
Then comes the last event, the 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
The home team is barely ahead.
Swimmer #2 drops behind a bit.
Swimmer #3 is just barely keeping it close.
Swimmer #4 dives in.
With superhuman effort, she puts it into high gear and on the last lap, OVERTAKES THE LEAD.
Mom and Dad are jumping up and down screaming-go go go go go go!
We hold our breath!
Miss Liss has won it for the home team!

(not a photo from the actual meet-the sacred camera is in the shop-miss liss on the right)

We find out later her goggles fell off were dragging around her mouth! So it was really a Michael Phelps finish!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Do you remember where you were seven years ago today? It was one of those memory imbedded moments in life, like remembering where you were when JFK was assassinated, or the Pearl Harbor attacks....(if you are old enough to remember that!)

I remember getting the phone call from TL saying, "turn on the TV!"

I didn't want to, I was busy, I never watch TV in the morning, but I did.

I remember the feeling of shock and horror, watching the towers fall.

I remember keeping that TV on for days and days, anxiously watching every news update.

I remember listening to the words of a strong and decisive President of the United States.

I remember eagerly awaiting the words of comfort and counsel from a Prophet of God.

I remember the eery silence of the skies over my head.

I remember worrying about family and friends who were stranded in far away places, trying to get home.

Today I am:

Remembering those who lost their lives that day and saying a prayer for their families.

Remembering those who have left family and home to help preserve our freedoms and security (thanks Zak!)

Remembering those who fought and paid the ultimate price to keep that freedom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crazy, Whacked-Out Goofy Day

This truly has been a bizarro day. I was discussing this fact with Jessica and she said, "Oh, mom, you have to blog about it!" Okay, so I will.

First it starts out with a my first visit to a naturopathic dr. She is a wonderfully awesome person who is concerned for my health and well-being and offers many suggestions for my tale of health woes. (which will not be enumerated here) One of her suggestions to aid in my health and comfort is a nice session of acupuncture. Yes, acupuncture. You know, where needles are stuck in various parts of your body, to help restore "chi." Well, recently on one of the rare occasions I watch Oprah (I like Dr. Oz) he mentioned that acupuncture may help one of my little health complaints.
So I said, "sure, why not!"

She led me into this nice room with lovely serene music playing, where I laid downon a nice comfy bed, with pillows, and a heat lamp to keep my feet warm (awesome, by the way). She proceeds to poke me with at least a dozen little needles and honestly, it wasn't too bad. There was one that really jumped out at me and she said, "oh yes, that's a very strong point for your particular problem." (well, she really didn't say exactly that-but I'm trying to be discreet here about my medical issues) Ooookay. Then she pokes one right in between my eyebrows and says, "okay, relax, I'll see you in 20 minutes."

Now I am really not a person that likes to sit still much. So lying flat, not moving a muscle for 20 minutes with a dozen sharp needles poking into me is verrry difficult. But I began to feel the buzz, relaxed a little and then sort of went with the flow of the serene music, except for that one needle poking in between my eyebrows. It was kind of pinching.......

Later.....she comes in, says "how are you doing?" I'm fine-surprised that 20 minutes have gone by. She asks if any of the needles bothered me. I said, not really, just the one between my eyebrows. "Oh," she says, "that's the one I always put in for relaxation."
Next....I received an email this afternoon that left me gasping with laughter.....It seems that I mentioned a person's name on my blog on April 18, 2008....the first and last name of a person who I had a mad crush on as a young teenager. This email was from this nice person whose kids had apparently googled his name and found him (and probably teased him mercilessly) on my blog. He asked me-Am I That Guy? Who woulda thought? Apparently he doesn't remember me.......severe blow to the pride here.
Note to self: Do not put first and last names of persons in your blog...
So here's to tomorrow, a nice normal not so bizarro day. (I'm not going to mention that I had an oral test in Spanish today, nope, just not going to do it)(or mention the fact that my camera is in the shop and it's going to cost $160 to fix it!)(and I also won't mention that I made an awesome, awesome homemade mushroom soup/sauce that is wheat-free, milk-free, egg free and doesn't have anything in it that you can't pronounce in English!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Alice-If you are Out There-This One's for You

Red neck tank top-can you figure out what it's made of?
Photo taken outside a Walmart in Alabama.

My Prayers Answered

They're done! I am so beyond excited about this....The workers did a fabulous job, they cleaned it up so nicely and I got to practice my Spanish to boot! Who could ask for more. We're just waiting for a topsoil delivery and then it's time to get serious.

These garden boxes are truly an answer to a prayer. God really does listen and answer our prayers. Earlier this year I had been studying and learning about gardening on line and heard about Square Foot Gardening. I felt really strongly that I needed to add to my garden boxes, but how to find the money.....we figured it would cost us at least $1000! So I decided to make it a matter of prayer. I prayed that we would have the money come to us that we needed to build these boxes. I had no idea how it was going to happen, I just knew that it was something important that I wanted to do. I just prayed every morning in my prayers for days and days(amongst other stuff) that the way would be opened for us to do this. Well, guess what! About two weeks later we got a notification that we were receiving an "economy stimulus check" in the mail to the tune of about $1500! I had forgotten about it and really didn't think we were going to get one. My garden box money! I really do know that God listens and answers our prayers and the things that are important to us are important to Him also because we are His children and He loves us. We can pray about even the tiniest things-because they are important to us and He will help us accomplish them.

(I think I better pray now for the energy and time to get the garden planted!)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Memory

Sheesh, two posts in one day.....maybe my "blogger mojo" has come back. Don't know.

While discussing Jessica's lack of immunity to chicken pox the other day, I was reflecting on the good ol' days with a house full of little ones and the plague of chicken pox that hit. We had it TWICE. Two waves of it. The first wave....

Four kids, in succesion, the oldest nine, the youngest about 6-8 weeks old. The older kids were really, really sick, poor things. I think the older you are, the sicker you get. The baby only got about 4 or 5 pox-hence her lack of immunity I guess.

No photos of the actual "event." You get a good idea of the ages. Then to top it all off, someone brought home head lice from school! (I won't name names) And the little blondie had HEAD LICE and CHICKEN POX at the same time. I was freaking out with the head lice soap, thinking I was going to poison my child with her open sores on her head and she had severe eczema to boot!

but we survived.

Next go round, three kids later, right after the other....chicken pox arrives

This time ages 1, 3 and 5. Oh joy. But they didn't get as sick and we had no head lice.

Remind me to tell you the story about when we had head lice and I was pregnant and terrified to use the "killer shampoo" for fear of damaging my unborn child. Wait.....was this post supposed to be about chicken pox or head lice? (now you know all my dirty little secrets)

Monday Makeover

Saturday, while I was in a frenzy of cleaning before the Primary meeting at my house yesterday, I decided to rearrange my family room and here are the results.....

So I thought, hey let's do a blogger makeover too, courtesy of Allie Brown's Layouts. The seasons are changing.....(we hope) and it's time for a few fall colors.. Sorry, I still have to figure out how to post a button on the blog to give her credit! You likee??

Friday, September 5, 2008

Will the Real White Flour Please Step Forward

Which is it-the right one or the left one? Can you tell???

Three weeks ago today we found out that TL has about 25 food intolerances-allergies-whatever you want to call them. Because I have certain digestive issues, I decided to go cold turkey along with him and avoid these foods, you can go here to see my tale of woe.

It's been an interesting experience trying to find things to cook. I have been so frustrated because I have looked at literally hundreds of recipes, including some of the old faves, and I have to say, oops, can't eat that, has milk, or oops, can't eat that, has tomatoes, or oops can't eat that, it has eggs, wheat, oregano, chilis, on and on ad nauseum.......

I met up with Chef Brad at of all places, a swim meet and he gave me some great advice. Turns out he is an expert on "grainology" and is a fellow wheat intolerance sufferer...... So we press forward, learning new ways of doing things and here's a photo of my new "white flour:"

A combination of spelt, sorghum and brown rice-throw it in the grinder and voila-white flour.....sort of....

So didja guess which one was the real white flour? Yup, the one on the left...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Can't even Think of a Good Title

I seem to have lost my "blogging mojo" these days. Life just happens, hormones are giving me a ride, and clever and witty sayings seem to be lost somewhere in my Spanish-hormone-befuddled brain......Today is full of all things community, church and kid so I will sign off with a great quote:

There is one responsibility which no man can evade; that responsibility is his personal influence. Man's unconscious influence is the silent, subtle radiation of personality—the effect of his words and his actions on others. This radiation, to which I refer, comes from what a person really is, not from what he pretends to be. Every man by his mere living is radiating either sympathy, sorrow, morbidness, cynicism, or happiness and hope or any one of a hundred other qualities.David O. McKayApril 27, 1948
And finally,

You go girl!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Joy- The Ultimate Career

"I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it." Rose Kennedy

"The homemaker is the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only- and that is to support this ultimate career." C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day-emphasis on Labor

My man-hard at work.
He's a keeper-dontcha' think?