Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kit Kat

In honor of Halloween, I thought I would spotlight another one of my cats. Let me tell you about Kit Kat. Not only is he named after a yummy candy bar, but he is also one of the sweetest cats I have ever met. Now, if you come to my house, you will never see him. He is also a scaredy cat! We got him from my sister when he was a young kitten. He did not want to be caught and put up a pretty good fight before my brother in law was able to get him into the carrier. Once we got him home, I think he realized that he was pretty lucky. He didn't know that he had won the cat Lottery---almost! He has a comfortable home, plenty of food and a family that loves him.

Kit Kat usually sleeps by my feet on the bed. He is the first one to greet me every morning and he loves to curl up next to me when I watch TV. I tell him that he is a good cat and a pretty cat...which makes Eric laugh. He has the loudest purr I have ever heard and I must say that he is easily Oreo's favorite brother and they hang out together a lot.

Ok, so I haven't quite figured out how to get the pictures to mix in with the text...if anyone can tell me how to do this, I would love to know...because I really wanted to have a picture of Oreo and Kit Kat here, but I obviously did something wrong...because the picture I selected is of Oreo and Snickers, not Oreo and Kit Kat and I can't figure out how to delete it w/o deleting the whole blog...Also, please tell me that you get your children mixed up, too! Please!!! I mean I know that Snickers and Kit Kat look alike, but if you look closely, you can see they are different. Eric says we can just airbrush a brown spot on Snicker's nose and no one will know...

Anyway, as I was saying about Kit Kat...I am really thankful that he is part of our family. It never hurts to have an extra fur blanket against your legs on a cold winter night! Happy Halloween to you!!!!
PS--after much searching, I did find a cute picture of Oreo and Kit Kat...Sorry if they are not in order.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why I Love My Dad

I was awake early this morning and as I laid there in the dark I was contemplating all my blessings. The past several months I have tried to focus more on gratitude and I must say that since I have done this, my perspective has really changed. This morning I was thinking about my Dad...

I was blessed to be sent to a loving home with two wonderful parents. The older I get, the more thankful I am for this opportunity. My mother was an exceptional woman with multiple gifts and talents which she freely shared. I will write about her in a future blog...My father was equally as gifted, talented and generous, however he was willing to allow the spotlight to shine on my mother. He quietly went about his business taking care of the family and didn't worry that my mother got all the attention. So here is why I love my Dad...

Dad has always taken care me. I am told---since I don't remember--that he and I have a special bond because he held me a lot the first six weeks of my life. He was finishing engineering school and my mother had to type all of his papers for him. So he held me and fed me and played with me, while she typed. As I grew up, I remember that his work (both employment and church duties) took him away from home a lot. Despite this, he was always there at times when I needed him.

At the beginning of the school year, he would give each of us a Father's blessing. Periodically he would interview us to make sure we were doing alright. I will never forget the day that I got my interim report cards and I was failing algebra. The teacher had written nothing in the comments...he said, "My daughter is failing algebra and he can't even tell my why?" He scheduled a meeting with my algebra teacher. I don't remember what he said about that meeting. What I do remember is that he took the responsibility for my education and began tutoring me in algebra. I am so thankful for this. He will never know what confidence this instilled in me AND from that point on I did very well in math classes.

I had another issue involving school during my senior year. I will spare you the details, but the situation was that I would have to meet with a member of the school board to resolve an issue. The plan was to have my mother be there as well. The night before the meeting, he sat down with both of us and explained in detail what would happen in the interview. He told us what the school representative would say and then how we should respond. The next day, I was called into the meeting earlier than planned--I don't believe this was an accident---so I had to go alone. Because my father had prepared me, I was able to speak clearly and confidently and I must tell father was exactly right. The representative recommended that the school resolve the issue in my favor---much to the school's dismay.

Over the years, my father has continued to offer counsel and support--emotional and financial when necessary. He has been there for me through many trials and challenges. I am thankful to have been able to share with him the responsibility of caring for my mother. This was particularly challenging and at times frustrating for both of us. When she died, I watched as his world collapsed. Again, he was an example of strength and faith. He fasted a lot. He studied the scriptures and attended the temple often. He petitioned the Lord in prayer to know what he should do with the rest of his life. Since we lived under the same roof, I heard him pacing the floor many nights and prayed for him to be comforted.

Then he got his answer and for the second time, married a wonderful woman. I am so thankful that the Lord directed him to Bobbye. She has truly blessed our family. She brought back the happiness in his life. I LOVE my Dad. He can fix anything...He knows everything...He loves the Lord...He loves his family...He honors his Priesthood...He works hard...He has a great sense of humor...He was crazy enough to pack nine children in a station wagon and drive from Ohio to Idaho almost non-stop many times when we were kids...(that still boggles my mind)...He is one of the greatest men I know. Thank you Dad...You are my hero!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Confessions of a "Bling" Queen

Ok. So I have been reading many of your blogs and enjoying getting to know each of you much better. I love this blogging thing! I recently read a wonderful entry from a dear friend about warts. I also read a moving tribute--or embarrassing expose'--from a loving spouse celebrating her sweetheart's birthday. So I have decided it is time to reveal a little more about myself...I hope that it isn't too shocking!

I confess...I LOVE TO SPARKLE!!! I love things that sparkle: water, pretty rocks of the colored and clear variety, elegant windows...anything that catches the light and sends it back even brighter...especially if it disperses the light into rainbows. From the time I was young, I loved wearing jewelry because it made me sparkle. Over the years I have collected many different styles and types of rings, bracelets, necklaces,and ear rings. I even own a toe ring (which I never thought I would like, but I do). This "collecting" has prompted my husband to give me such nick names as "Bling Queen" and "Nique Freak" (because a large part of my collection is Diamonique simulated stones from QVC--yes, they aren't real, but they sparkle really bright!) and most recently, I have started collecting loose gemstones in bulk parcels. I love to see them sparkle under the light. I could spend hours gazing into a stone and watching as the light plays from one angle to another. I am fascinated by how the sparkle in a stone is directly related to how it is cut or faceted.

When a gemstone is faceted, either real or synthetic, it first comes in what is known as a piece of rough. Someone who is familiar with cutting the gemstone evaluates the rough and determines the best way to cut it to maximize the beauty of the stone. Then it is placed at precise angles against a cutting blade. This process is repeated over and over again until the shape of the stone is achieved. If there is even the slightest error, the ability of the stone to reflect light can be compromised.

All gemstones have imperfections in them, which are called inclusions. Depending on the stone, these can be tolerated to a certain degree such as with emeralds and rubies. As a general rule, the cleaner or less included the stone, the more valuable and desireable it is. Gemstones are sorted and categorized based on their clarity as well as other factors.

So as not to bore you with other details related to gemstones, I will get to my point...There a many different shapes and patterns in which gemstones can be cut but the most familiar cut is the round brilliant shape which consists of 57 facets cut into a round shaped stone. Recently, some of the top jewelry designers have started using stones that are cut with 100 facets. These stones give off even more sparkle and shine. I recently purchased a pair of ear rings and a ring that had simulated stones which were cut into 100 facets. They are beautiful! They really do shine better than the others.

The process to facet a gemstone is not easy on the stone. Some stones of lesser quality break as they are cut and shaped. As I examine the challenges I have had in my life, I can see the hand of the Lord cutting facets so as to shape me into a stone which produces more light. Each time I study the scriptures, follow the prompting of the Holy Ghost, or internalize another gospel priciple, I am cutting a new facet. As I endure well the adversity that comes into my life, I am polishing those facets. Taking advantage of the Atonement and repenting of my sins reduces my inclusions. I am thankful that the Master Cutter knows exactly which angle to place me against the blade to yeild the most effect light reflecting surface. As I allow myself to be guided, I can become the sparkling and light reflecting body that I desire to be.

So when you see me wearing my pretty stones, two things are true...if they are clear they are simulated (because I can't afford the real thing--nor would I pay that much for it if I could), and...they are always cleaned so they sparkle and shine as brightly as they can. So now you know...I am a "Bling" Queen!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

He's Baaaaaaack!!!

Well as many of you know, my sweetheart has been away taking care of his mother. I will confess that Monday of this week, I was starting to get excited. By Tuesday, I could hardly wait to see him again. Wednesday at work went really fast and soon I was on the road to Indy to get him from the airport...and I must say, I really like going to that airport better than Cincinnati--so much easier to navigate and definately cheaper! I don't think I realized just how much I missed him until I saw him standing there on the curb with all his luggage!

Thursday morning he slept until almost 11am! I know he was really worn out from everything he did to help his mother. Monday was his birthday and he said that while the calendar only showed that he had aged a year, he felt like he had aged five years! Thursday was a big day at our house. For Eric's birthday, I ordered Zoomtown. He has been wanting this for a long time and I have resisted. My response was always, "I have high speed at work, we don't need it at home." His statement went like this..."but I am at home!" So then Thursday evening, we did some heavy duty work in the basement. I have hired a friend to come help me with this job for a couple hours each week and she is FABULOUS! It has been a tremendous help for me. So Eric's comment to this was, "Gee, I go away for five weeks and then come home and we have Zoomtown and a maid!"

Anyway, the time has gone fast and I will have to return to work on Monday...(big sigh). Suffice it to say that since he has returned, I have enjoyed the time together. I am thankful to have such a wonderful friend. He really makes life fun. We are planning for him to return to Utah in January, but until then, I am going to enjoy having him home.

Friday, October 12, 2007

So Many Friends...

Thank you for your positive comments and words of encouragment. I appreciate your enthusiasum and support for my blog. As you know, I have been living life as a "single" parent for the past 4.5 weeks. When we first decided that Eric would go to Utah and help take care of his mother (who ended up having to have hip surgery again), I thought..."This is going to be great...I can get so much done...he won't be in the way...I won't have to worry about what to have for dinner (because cereal is great for me)...

I figured that after 20 years of marriage, we could use a break. There was only one ther time we were separated longer and that was in 1996 when I was in Utah for my mother's hip surgery...I was out there for six extremely long weeks. It was quite difficult. Anyway, so I thought after 6 weeks, 5 should be a breeze. Well, I don't know if it was the added years together or my extremely busy schedule, but I admit that I really do miss having Eric around! And after 20 years of marriage, that is a good thing...

I can say for certain that if it weren't for you, my wonderful friends, I could not have endured. In fact, I have been so busy doing things with all of you, that I haven't really done much of what I thought I would do while he was he will be home on the 17th and I am excited to see him. I have renewed appreciation for military wives. I also have renewed appreciation for all my single friends. Cooking for one is really hard---and that is just the tip of the iceberg for singles.

Thank you for the phone calls, the dinner invitations and everything else. You have blessed my life tremendoulsy.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


As some of you know, we have been blessed with a large family. From the time I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mother and have many children. Of course, my idea of a large family was not the same as the Lord's idea for my large family. Not that I am complaining...because, believe me, it took me YEARS to come to terms with the idea of not having a "traditional" family. Nonetheless, I feel that I have been richly blessed. I am thankful that the Lord was mindful of my need to be a mother and made it possible for me to have mothering experiences.

Our family presently consists of four cats and a dog...Bullseye, Kit Kat, Snickers, and Oreo are our cats. Our dog is named Lad. I will start with Oreo, our youngest and the only other female in the house. As you can see from her picture, she is cute. One might even think you could pet her and make her purr...I will tell you that it has taken months for us to be able to do this. She was rescued from the wild and is the only cat we have ever had that didn't meow while riding in the carrier on the way home from Indiana where we got her. She was just too mad to make any noise!

She is about a year old now and is still quite skittish, but we love her anyway. She definately owns our hearts. I must admit that I am thankful she came to live with us. She has taught me patience as I have worked with her to gain her trust. In my heart I know she appreciates the treats I sneak her from my dinner plate! She has taught me also to hope for the future--that someday she will love and trust us just as much as we do her.

To all my friends with children...Oh, how I admire you and appreciate the sacrifices you make as you raise them. It is my hope that you understand that my intent is not to diminish the traditional family. Only to give thanks to the Lord for being mindful of my needs as I fulfill the work He had planned for me, which at this point in time does not include children of my own.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


So a couple of weeks ago I didn't really know what a blog was...I confess that I have worked around computers for several years and condsider myself quite able to handle many computer related functions. Logging onto the internet and "surfing" the web also was something I wouldn't hesitate to do on a daily basis. So I have to ask myself, "Why did I not know about blogs or Blogging?" The only answer I can come up with is...I don't know! Thanks to a wonderful friend (Maura)who invited me to read her blog, a whole new world has opened up for me.

Now you must know that while I feel comfortable with computers...the fact that I sit in front of one all day at work generally makes me not want to do the same thing when I am home. However, I can see the appeal of logging in and catching up with friends. I am amazed at the things I have learned about you! So now as I join you in this blogging adventure, please forgive me if I commit any blogging faux pas, since I am a novice. With any luck, I'll learn this pretty quick. I will do my best to keep thing up and current. And appreciate your friendship as I journey into this brave new world.