Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dream come true!!!!!

Saturday was a very exciting day for me! One of my dreams came true... I got to go to a taping of the Oprah show. She was in Las Vegas filming a show that will air on May 8th, with Cher and Tina Turner. Cher just started a show in Vegas, so Oprah interviewed her about her new show and they performed one of the numbers from her new show. So just how did I get the ticket?? John got a call from his add rep from channel 8 a week ago and she invited him to the show. They invited their top 5 advertisers during the Oprah show hour, and Sunburst Shutters is in the top 5. They said he was the only one that could go, since he buys the adds and he couldn't give it to anyone! They were very strict about it. John called them everyday begging and pleading with them to let me go instead. They wouldn't budge until all of the other top advertisers said they didn't really want to go, but their wives were dyeing to go. So they got special permission from the Harpo people to switch the tickets. 

I was a little nervous to go all by myself, but knew I would survive! I was invited to a brunch before with all the add people and a bunch of channel 8 people. I sat across from the lady who does the morning news. She was very nice, I can't remember her name at the moment. She was very excited because she was going to be interviewing Oprah after the show! Only she and Entertainment tonight were given permission to interview her. After the brunch we headed over to the show at the coliseum in Caesars Palace. We were told over and over not to bring camera's or cell phones. It was a bummer... oh well. they let us in at 12:30 and the show didn't start until 2:00. I was so excited!! 

Oprah was great! She talked with the audience during commercial breaks. She told us all about her interview the day before at Tom Cruise's place in Colorado the day before. She joked about her cleansing diet she just finished, it was pretty funny. I can't say I'm a huge Cher and Tina fan, but they were great. After seeing the one scene from Cher's new show, I am actually interested in going to it. It looks like a lot of fun. It was interesting to watch Oprah with her staff and the audience during the breaks. One of her eyelashes was falling off, so her makeup people had to come out and fix it and it was funny to watch. Tina and Cher said a few things that Oprah didn't like, so during a break, Oprah said "the beauty of television is that I can tell them to cut out those comments and no one will ever see it on tv." Tina had said something about Oprah being a different person while she was in Switzerland visiting her. I didn't think it was bad, but I guess she didn't like it. It will be interesting to see what they cut out. 

I'd still love to meet her up close and have a conversation with her, but this was pretty close! So watch Oprah on May 8th. Our seats were about 20 rows back in the center. It was great. A day that I will always remember!!

to top the day off, John and I went to our favorite restaurant in town called China grill in Mandalay Bay and then we went to the Goo Goo Dolls concert. It was a lot of fun. But, we realized we are getting old because the concert didn't start until 9:00 and there were two warm up bands... so it didn't get over until after midnight. Were very sleepy by the end! 

Monday, April 21, 2008

great weekend!

This weekend was so wonderful. (especially compared to last!) I enjoyed our Stake Conference so much! Saturday night session was all about the importance of family dinner time, family home evening and going to the temple. The stake presidency made these fun home movies that showed how difficult it is to do these things. We saw how hard it is to set aside time for these things and how our lives are way too busy. Then on Sunday the talks were on "how we bring the gospel into our homes". All of the talks were great and made me really think about our home and how we can improve things. Keri had to talk and she did an amazing job! Yah Keri! 

President Schlauder asked us to look at our lives and figure out what our "distractions" were and to really work hard for the next two weeks to remove them from our homes and lives. We had a great talk with the kids after lunch yesterday and talked about our schedules and our distractions and made a game plan to simplify our lives and get the important things done. We do a pretty good job at having family dinners, but we can improve. We made a dinner calendar for the next 3 weeks! That will help me tons. I hate deciding what to have for dinner every night. And we made a family home evening lesson schedule for the next 2 months. So those should be better too. 

We decided that the kids needed to limit their time on "Guitar Hero"... personally I would like to hide it for a month! We will see how they do. I am so tired of the loud music! We also talked about playing more games as a family and things like that. Me personally....I decided that my laptop can be a distraction for me. Hard to admit, but I do have some addiction problems with it. I say I am going to sit down to send some emails for YW's and I end up reading blogs for an hour and fiddling around on web sites and none of my YW stuff gets done. So, I have decided I need to limit my time on my computer... so you might not see as many blog posts and comments from me. I don't want to give it up completely, because I know I need time for me, but I just need to manage my time a little better. I have been ignoring house work and other things for quite some time now. Tanner wrote his name in the dust on my lamp the other day! A good sign that dusting isn't getting done!

I know our family and home will be blessed if we work harder to have family dinners, FHE and temple attendance! Thank you to a wonderful stake presidency for reminding us of the blessings that we need! 

Friday, April 18, 2008

6 miles....

Is how far I jogged this morning! Yah me!! I know some of you are marathon runners, and 6 miles is a warm up.... but for me, this is a long ways! For a year I have been real comfortable with 3 miles. About 2 months ago i decided I needed to step it up a notch and work harder to get some of this extra poundage off me that I have gained back. I thought that since I can't seem to control my eating, that some harder exercise would help. No such luck! I have been working my tail off and have lost like one pound! I guess you have to do both! I hate that. (I put out of my mind all that I learned in Weight Watchers and tried to do my own thing) I am SO TIRED of watching what I eat. Why can't I be one of those natural skinny people and eat whatever I want!!!

I guess I better go to my Weight Watchers meeting next week and face reality! depressing.... 

Monday, April 14, 2008

After a long winters nap....

One of the turtles finally woke up today. Our two turtles have been in hibernation all winter and the big one moved around and ate some lunch! (I forget his name, how sad) I think Tanner named him long neck??? I was beginning to worry that maybe they were dead and not hibernating.... I miss watching them out my kitchen window. They are funny little creatures and little things entertain me! It's our first winter with them, so I haven't experienced this hibernating thing yet and I don't know what to expect... I had no idea they would sleep this long! They snuggled down for their nap in like November, that's along time to sleep. I wonder how long a bear sleeps?? Anyway he only woke up for like an hour and ate some lettuce and then went back to his favorite spot and went back to sleep. I hope the other little guy isn't dead... he's still out. I wish I could nap like them!!

Look at his cute little tongue in the second picture. Love my turtles!! Oh, my hummingbirds are back too. I think there are some new little babies too! They are so cute!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

3 Tickets in 1 day!

This is John. You know, Allison and I are pretty safe drivers. We're not very ticket prone. But today, Allison and I got 3 of them--all in 1 day! It started this morning around 7:30 as I was riding by bike, going for what I had hoped was a long bike ride. About 1 mile into my ride I was approaching an intersection. I slowed down but did not fully stop at the stop sign. I saw a lady in a car pulling up to the intersection as I was entering it. If she stopped, she stopped quickly and started even quicker. She hit me and knocked me off my bike, sending me flying about 10 feet into the other lane of traffic. It took the wind out of me, cut my knee, arm, hand and bruised my shoulder. I laid on the ground in pain. A doctor stopped at the site and told me to stay in that spot. He called Fire Dept. paramedics, an ambulance and the police. They also called Allison.

The paramedics cleaned me up and I was feeling better. I canceled the ambulance because I didn't feel like I had broken anything. The police came and decided I was at fault because I admitted that I only slowed down at the intersection and did not stop completely. I don't think the lady who hit me admitted to a rolling stop or she would have been cited. So I got a ticket for hitting a car with my bike. Really. The scratch on her car was nothing compared to my messed up bike and body. Aren't cars supposed to yield for pedestrians on foot or on bike? That's how I always drive.

What made it worse (for Allison, not for me) was that she forgot her camera, so she couldn't get a photo for her blog. I could have been badly hurt, but the only pain Allison had was that she wished she had her camera.

Allison has never had a ticket. In 24+ years of driving, she's had 0 tickets. None. Perfect record. Until today.... Ticket Day!

This afternoon, Allison was driving up Westcliff Dr. and thought the speed limit was 45, when it was really 35. She says my car makes her go faster. Hmmm. She was trying to call me in the process. The cop clocked her at 49 in a 35 and gave her one ticket for speeding and another for talking on her cell phone while speeding. Really. He was the type of cop that did not give her a chance to defend herself--just wrote out the ticket and handed it to her. Westcliff Dr. is wide enough to be a 6 lane highway. The wider a road is the faster most cars go.

What a memorable day this was. We felt like victims of wide roads and unwise cops. We may need to cancel our kids' college funds to pay for these 3 tickets. Anyone know a good lawyer?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

growing too fast....

I've been meaning to write about what happened on Sunday. Ashley received her patriarchal blessing. What a neat experience that was. I can't believe my little girl is old enough and mature enough to get this special gift. It was such a neat thing. What a special patriarch we have in our stake. He was so sweet and you could feel the spirit so strong as you walked into his home.

It just added to the spirit that we felt all weekend watching conference. I loved conference and felt such a wonderful spirit as I sustained our new Prophet. What a great man. I have always loved listening to President Monson speak and this time it was different. I knew without a doubt that he was a prophet of God and he now carries that mantel. How lucky we are to be able to receive that confirmation.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Funny blog...

While I was in Seattle, my sister told me about this silly blog. It's about a puddle in New York City. If you start at the beginning it's pretty funny. I know, I need to get a life....

Our Saturdays are now busy again with Mitchell playing soccer and Tanner playing flag football. Can you believe I forgot to bring my camera to their first game of the season??? oh well. They both played great. Mitchell's game ended in a tie, they should have won, the other team cheated by putting boys in the game who weren't really on the team. This club team has and A & B team and the b team was playing and at half time they had a few boys change jerseys from the A team and they went in and scored.... not fair.

Tanner's football league has been very unorganized this season... they didn't put him on the same team he was on last season and the new team they put him on doesn't have a coach, so the league organizer has been coaching them this week. I think John and a few other dads are going to take over the coaching. The good news is that there are only 5 kids on the team so they will get lots of playing time. His old team had like 15 kids, so not much time on the field. But we do need to recruit a few more kids so they can have a break. Tanner played quarterback today and did a great job! They won 30-23. Go Colts! I think John is reliving his childhood. His mom didn't let him play football until his senior year and I think that still bugs him. So now is his chance to play through Tanner!

Friday, April 4, 2008

check this out..

Check out this website. It is absolutely beautiful. I sure hope that when we go to Mesa in May that this event will still be on display. Be sure to look at all the tabs on the website... the blog has some neat stories about how they found different sites for the photographs and stuff... very spiritual...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A few random things....

While I was in Utah, I got scans of all of my Grandma Verhaaren's old pictures.... they are so COOL! Here are a few of them. This first one was taken at a picnic in South Africa where my Great Grandmother is from. She is the one in the middle without a hat on. It was taken in about 1913.
This next one is my Great Great Grandparents wedding in South Africa in about 1885!
I think this one is my Great Great Grandparents in South Africa in the late 1800's. I was so excited about getting these scans. Thanks Julie & Cindy for doing all the scanning!

I learned how to make these really cool chocolate covered marshmallow eggs at an enrichment activity. They were so yummy that I came home and made more with Ashley. Would you believe that I forgot to take a picture of the finished product!!! Crazy. I will post the recipe at easter time next year!
The night before I left for Seattle, John won tickets on to see the band Chicago at the MGM. It was amazing concert! Things are always better when they are free....

Here are a few photo's from my Seattle trip....
I got a little teary eyed flying over Mt. Rainier. Oh how I miss the mountains and tree's and lakes. It was breathtaking!  It was a little cloudy out, but I could still see Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams all in a row. Seattle will always have a special place in my heart!! I had to remind myself that I love my family, home and friends in vegas when it was time to go home! otherwise I would have stayed.
Dad, my brother David and his daughter Tiffany picked up Scott and I at the airport and we headed straight to Dick's. This is the "boys" favorite place to eat in Seattle. Nothing like a good greasy burger! 
Saturday night we went to my favorite teriyaki restaurant. So good! We need a good in Vegas! 
2 nights in a row we played some serious hearts! Fun times!

Happy Birthday Johnny! It was my Brother John's birthday on March 24th. He died almost 11 years ago. So I think he would have been 36. It was nice to be together as a family on his birthday. We tried to get out to the cemetery to put flowers on his grave, but we couldn't fit it in. But, we did take a picture in front of the Johnny tree at the Seattle Temple. (when he died, some friends of our family gave my parents a little tree for us to plant in his memory and we got permission to plant on the grounds of the Seattle temple.) So we took a family picture in front of it. (Dad, I'm still waiting to get your pictures) I will post it when I get it. Here is a picture of Johnny as a baby. I'm sure he loved being in my pink doll seat!

Now I am home and my cousin Craig is here with his wife Mauri and 4 kids. Mauri was one of my high school friends and college roommates and she married on of my favorite cousins! So we've had a fun few days. Our kids all get along and have a great time together! We had the Taylor's over last night for dinner because Rene'e, Mauri and I were all high school friends and roommates. It's so weird that we are all in our 40's now with kids that are almost in college!! Freaky...

The kids have had a great time swimming!