Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Very Busy Week

So many times I live my life, day in and day out, and then look back, and it all seems like a blur; later wondering, "What did I do with my time?" This past week was a good one with almost every minute in my day planned out. Here are some highlights:

Thursday 1/22/09 - I had my Annual Review with Brenda, my boss, the Exec. Dir. for the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, after filling out an indepth questionaire about accomplishments from this past year and goals for this next. It was very positive. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a fine woman, full of integrity and professionalism. Here is a picture that I took of the theater last May.

After dinner, Anne Koepsell, my visiting teacher and long-time friend, took me out to dinner since Gayle was sleeping (he had to work his usual graveyard shift that night). We enjoyed Mexican food at the Golf Course Restaurant in Liberty Lake, and afterward I went home and talked to almost all my children, just what I wanted to do, of course!

Friday 1/23/09: Today was the kick-off for Spokane's 5 week Lincoln Festival which will include music, drama, dance, and visual arts, presented by the Fox and Spokane Symphony, celebrating Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. These events, which are sanctioned by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commision on the National Level, will culminate with a symphonic work called "Letters of Lincoln" by Michael Daugherty, commisioned by the Spokane Symphony. Thomas Hampson, internationally acclaimed baritone, will perform this world premiere on Feb. 28 and Mar 1 with the Spokane Symphony. I was fortunate enough to leave work for an hour today and photograph this kick-off which started at the Lincoln Memorial Statue in Spokane. West Side High School Band performed, then lead the procession to City Hall where we heard Students creatively recite the Gettysburg Address. Afterward, we viewed a few displays by local artists on Lincoln.

When I got home from work, Gayle had dinner ready, the table set, and served delicious spaghetti! Ah, comfort food. I had about a half hour to eat, then left to pick up a friend I visit teach, and we went to the cannery. It felt good to be there with other ward members all working together at such a fast pace. Much was accomplished in an hour, and I came home with 2 cases of dehydrated stuff and wheat.

Saturday 1/24/09: Early this morning we went to the Spokane Temple to enjoy the peace and joy that can only be found in such a holy place. This was our 4th Saturday in a row to attend an endowment session.

Afterward, Gayle and I cleaned the house, did the laundry, went out to eat for my birthday at that same Mexican Restaurant (my choice), then helped a sister in our ward with her family history. Or rather, Gayle did. I sat nearby on the couch and dozed off. It was nice spending the day with Gayle.

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009: Today we went to Church at 1 to 4 p.m. This late meeting schedule is not our favorite time to go to Church, but oh well. Afterward, we went home teaching and visited with Sis. Perrenoud, then fixed a salad, ate, and Gayle went to bed. I had 13 phone calls to make to some sisters in our ward about Visiting Teaching, and took my entire evening.

Monday, Jan. 26, 2009: My sister Sherie and I had lunch today at Red Robin and I enjoyed my favorite onion soup! I will miss Sherie when she and her family move to Australia in April! Sherie started exercizing after 5 years of NOT when her husband promised a trip to Mexico if she earned enough exercize points to earn the trip. Well, the trip to Mexico is off now, but she is still exercizing, and I am PROUD of her!

Monday night I went to Spokane Valley Camera Club, to which I am a member, and listened to a fine fellow photographer present his workshop on photographing Wildlife. His presentation was good, and the images he showed were astonishing. Here is one of my images I took at Wolf Bay in January 2008.

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009: Today three of our employees were out and the volume of work was too much for Donna and I to handle! I went home feeling exhausted, but tried to keep a positive attitude. I had told my dear friend Tamy that I would make some rolls for our Annual Board Dinner at her house and I did not want to back out on my commitment. I got the rolls made, but found myself in bed the next morning only half undressed with the lights in the house all on!

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009: Tonight was our 3rd annual Relief Society dinner at Tamy Wilkinson's house. I have had the priveledge of serving as Education Counselor with Tamy since June 25, 2006. Tamy is an excellent President and a dear friend. I love the way she makes everyone feel so important. She loves everyone she meets unconditionally, and never judges anyone. Her husband Karl is a great cook, and he again decided on a menu, cooked, and served us. They are very generous people, and I am blessed to have such good friends.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

My Birthday is today and I am giving my body a gift...
I promise to exercize 5 days a week.
I promise to eat healthy.
I promise to give up sugar.
I promise to take my calcium.
I promise to drink more (water).

I have given this a lot of thought. I do eat healthy, but
realize that it is not enough. Exercize must be a way
of life, and I'm getting serious now.

Serious, and Lookin' Good.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Last Saturday the temperature outside was -6 degrees when we left our house to go to the Spokane Temple, a 25 minute drive from us. The ABS Warning light came on, and Gayle continued to drive. Getting nervous, (I thought I smelled something burning) I suggested we go back home. He turned around and we started back. A short time later, the light went out, so he turned around and we drove to the temple. When he got out of the van, I heard "OH NO!" I got out, and we could not believe what we saw: We had no tire - it had disintegrated!! We had not even noticed with all the bumps because of the ice and snow. Later, when we took the tire rim and what was left of the tire to Alton's, the technician said that the rim looks fine to him to use on the new tire. (Can you believe it had no damage to it? I say God's tender mercies were with us again.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

This picture in my earlier post was
too small to appreciate, so I have resized to a bigger format. Let's see how this works out! Ahhhh, that's better! Just click on the picture and it will open up to a perfect size. (Thanks again, Trevor!) Now that is one good lookin' family!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Blessings of 2008

As the Year of 2008 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on where the time has gone and such joy comes to my heart for blessings that I have. Truly, I have "relished life as I have lived it, finding joy in the journey." My blessings are many, and I would like to share my thoughts with you. I ask myself...
Does my family know how much they mean to me? Life gets so busy, and the days come and go, all too quickly. I watched a movie last night, and I liked one phrase that describes my love for my family: "My love for you is as big as the sky!" You are Heavenly Father's greatest gift to me, second only to the Savior of the world.

Gayle, My love for you has grown to such an immense proportion I don't see how it could get any bigger! You make me complete. Where I am weak, you are strong. I am only half a person without you. I love you with all my heart, and I am blessed by your presence in our home. Thank you for all the many things you do, (too many to list here)- no matter how big or small - that contribute to my happiness.

Thank-you, Trevor, for your help in the details of this blog creation. You are always very helpful when it comes to computers, and that has been a blessing to Dad and I. In looking back through my pictures, I couldn't find even one that I had taken of you this past year! So I'll post this one that we had taken. We had a nice visit with you last summer. I get to "talk" almost everyday to you through Instant Messenger, and it is nice to see your messages come through while I am on the computer. It makes me feel good to know that you like to talk to me often.

December 24, 2008 - Dear Sherie,
It was wonderful spending time with you and your family tonight. I know that this will be the last Christmas that you will be near us, and that made it more precious. You have been such a blessing in my life since you moved here. I will miss you when you move on this summer.

December 7, 2008 -Matthew's Birthday
How we miss you, Matthew! Dad and I visited your grave today, and Dad said that he was sure that you knew that we were there. I just want you to know that even though you have gone beyond the veil, we think of you everyday and wonder what you are doing, and what you would share with us, if only you could come back, even just for a few minutes. One of our greatest blessings is knowing that we can be together again someday. We are so grateful to our Saviour who created this beautiful earth for us, came to earth to show and teach us the way, then died for all of us so we could have eternal life together. We promise you that we WILL all enjoy one another's company again. See you later, Love, Mom and Dad. (Thank-you, Penny and Heather, for the wreaths that you have made for Matt.)

December 6, 2008 The Nutcracker

It's an annual tradition that we go to The Nutcracker. This year Lisa brought a friend along. Traditions are important and make for good memories for all of us.

November: Thanksgiving

We were blessed to have Eric and Penny, Coleman and Tess visit us for Thanksgiving in November! Lisa decided that she and the girls would come up as well. We had a wonderful time together in Riverfront Park.

Riding the Carousel (The Carousel was to Paige and Dakota what the Ducks were to Coleman! Can you imagine that? Read below and you'll understand!)

Feeding the Ducks - Poor ducks...they acted like no one had fed them for months. We went to Riverfront Park with Lisa, Penny, and the children to have some fun. It turned into a nightmare for Coleman! They scared him so badly he was screaming when they'd come too close. And they did too! Newell and Corbyn had to constantly stand "guard" and swoosh them away . In the meantime, the kids threw 5 loaves of bread to these "starving" ducks and geese. Sorry, kids, Grandma just could not stop laughing hysterically! Coleman, Sorry I laughed at you! I just couldn't help myself! Are you still afraid of the ducks? You were a very good boy when you came to visit!

What a fantastic helper Tess was! I doubled the recipie and you did a great job frosting all those cookies and puting the sprinkles on! Tess danced in The Nutcracker in Ogden, Utah! I sure wish that we could have seen you dancing with the "Mother Ginger."

Halloween! We decided to take a trip to Lisa and Dave's home for a visit, and what better time to practice some lighting techniques but on Fairy Wings! Paige and Dakota were Pixie Fairies.

Do you know what is different about Newell? NO BRACES! No wonder she is smiling!

Taking a walk in Riverfront Park renews me as I go through my workday. The autumn colors were beautiful in October.


What a blessing it was to be able to visit the Olympic National Forest. We had never seen anything like what we saw there. We experienced mountainous, coastal, and rain forest hiking, and by far we were enraptured with the Hoh Rain Forest, as well as Sol Duc Falls. Just a side note: Newell and Corbyn have been reading the "Twilight" book series, and when they visited at Thanksgiving, we went to see the movie - a girls afternoon out with Lisa, Penny, and I. OH! It was like reliving our experience all over again, as the movie is set right in the area where we were camping, which was at Mora Campground, 1 mile from Rialto Beach on the Pacific Ocean, cities in the vacinity are Forks and La Push, Washington. We could lay in bed (in our tent) at night and hear the waves crashing on the shore. It was an AMAZING experience. If you go, be SURE you prepare for rain.
Thank-you, Gayle, for your expert knowledge of how to keep water out of our tent when there was constant mist or rain. Thank-you for the little things that you did that made it more comfortable for me. It was an experience that we shared together, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

Sunset at Rialto Beach - I call this our miracle sunset. The grey skies turned to blue and for one evening (the last night before we left), we experienced a spectacular sunset. It was only through the tender mercies of God that we were in the right place at the right time to see this. I so much wanted to see a sunset on the Pacific Ocean, and my prayer was answered.

This is where "Hole in the Wall" is.
Thank you, Sweetheart, for bringing me to this wonderful place.

We also sailed across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada and visited The Buchart Garden, in Victoria, British Columbia. Below are 5 of my favorite photographs:

I named this "The Path to Restful Repose."

Garden Gazing Ball

Ross Fountain

From Bud To Bloom


My children are such a blessing to me, and we had the opportunity to see almost all our children at the Evans Family Reunion in July. We rented condominiums at Ideal Beach Resort and had a wonderful time.

Heather and Keith, you are so fantastic with children. You know how to make a person feel so special. You have waited a long time to begin your own family, and truly our prayers for you have been answered. We are looking forward to the birth of your first child (and our 11th Grandchild) in early June 2009. It was fun playing with the bubbles at the reunion with you and the kids and all the fun things we did. I appreciate your careful analysis when a decision is to be made. Sometimes the research goes on for a long time, but when your choice is made, there is no doubt that it is the right one! You guys are great examples to me, when it comes to gardening, preserving the produce, and eating healthy. I miss going camping and hiking with you, and our experiences with you have motivated many trips of our own. (And by the way, Keith, I do like your hair.)

Dave, you are fun to be around. You have a serious side too, and are a very hard worker, a good cook (I like your Vietnamese dishes). You've been in school a long time: Congratulations on completing your IT Degree! I appreciate everything you do to provide a wonderful home for Lisa and the girls. We have enjoyed your company and organization on camping trips to Leavenworth and Glacier National Park.

Lisa, I appreciate the creative side of you. You've decorated your home in a way that is inviting and comfortable and makes me feel good to be there. You have refinished some furniture that are beautiful. Thank you so much for helping me refinish the window frame. It is going to look beautiful above our bed with some selected matted photos. You are a very patient and loving person and are doing a wonderful job with Dave raising your girls. We enjoy your visits and appreciate the time that we can spend together.

My life would not be complete without you Cory. You are so strong due to your employment in the roofing industry. You love to be outside, like I do, and can be found fishing, hunting, and camping whenever you have the time. Thank you for teaching me how to use our GPS this past summer and for loading on the mapping software. I appreciate all your knowledge and your helpful attitude whenever I ask you questions. It is so nice to have you living close by.

Eric, I think that you were born with basketball and softball in your genes you've been such a natural athlete (like Cory and Matt) and it seems like you are always looking to play something. You are a hard worker, and a good dad. I see you play with Tess and Coleman, and am impressed with your calm nature. You and I are a lot alike in that way. You have musical talent and I always enjoy listening to your compositions whether it be on the piano, the penny whistle, or the ocarina.

Penny, what a talented scrapbooker you are! Your children will have many albums in their mature age to look back on fondly. You are extremely organized, a valuable trait. I am impressed with all the friends you have. You are always there to lend a helping hand. Thank-you for Christmas shopping with me! It was fun, and you were very helpful.

Jennie and Kevin you guys are always on the go! Kevin, you can put anyone at ease and always knows just the right thing to say, usually with some humor! I appreciate your strong work ethic and your faith. I witnessed that when you were suddenly unemployed, and how you put all your trust in Heavenly Father, after you did all you could do, and then waited for the miracle to happen. And it did. Thank you for all you do (including letting me photograph your dives.).

Jennie, I have seen how hard you work to take care of Addy and Brinley, putting their needs before your own. I am happy that you have not lost sight of your dreams, and are taking guitar lessons and composing songs. I love your music! Your voice is a "gift" from God to be shared, and I am happy that you are singing again.

My parents, brothers and sisters, and their children are dear blessings to me. Mom and Dad, I am grateful for the way you raised us. You were wonderful parents, and created many wonderful memories for us kids. You always look at the positive side of things and never complain, in spite of ill health. I love you both very much. Thank you for all you have done for us. I love you Kay, Jim, Sherie, Liz, Mary, and Jared and your children! It was wonderful to see you this summer and how your families are growing older and some are having families of their own. I am so glad I got to see some of my nieces and nephews. I love you all. Looking back at Reunion week, I feel like I didn't get enough one on one time with you. So all I can say is, I'll try to keep in better touch so we don't become strangers. Liz and Jared, I missed you. I know you couldn't be there, and hope all is well for you and your families. Jared, I am really missing you now that we have record snowfall! Because of you we purchased sleds for ourselves last winter for Cherry Hill! And it was SO FUN. You are my mentor when it comes to jogging and exercize! Thanks for your 'coaching' me on.
(The following 2 pictures were taken by Katie Evans.)

Jennie and Kevin, Thanks for spending some time with me at Mirabeau when you came to Spokane before the reunion. I enjoyed taking some pictures of you there near the waterfall. I sure miss you. We look forward to seeing you again in late Summer, this time in Iowa.

Brinley - when I think of Brinley, I think of a little angel.
Addy, do you remember the little bunny rabbit that we saw at the park?

Dear Readers, from here my dates are a little mixed up, and they are going to stay that way! After trying to edit multiple times and making matters worse (being new to this process), the timing is off but you'll understand, I'm sure...

In May Gayle and I visited Lisa and her family. They live near a beautiful park, and I love to go there as often as possible. Spring comes earlier there then Spokane, and so a visit in May for Mother's Day was delightful to see flowers in bloom. Thank-you Dakota and Paige, Newell, and Corbyn for being such willing subjects. You are always so happy to have your pictures taken. I wish we could smell the wonderful fragrance of the lilac bushes now as we could then!

Newell and Corbyn, I hope that you will always try to do what is right as you go through life. I see that you are big helpers to your mom and dad. We appreciate your spending time with us when we come to see you.

Dakota started Kindergarten this year, and Paige began Piano lessons. It is wonderful to see you grow up and learn new skills.

Thank you, Gayle, for taking this picture of Lisa and I. I can't think of a more wonderful way to spend Mother's Day than to be with Children and Grandchildren.

Also in May, Paige had her 8th birthday and was baptized. She takes her covenants very seriously, and we are very proud of her.

In July, we traveled to Garden City, Utah to Ideal Beach Resort for the Evans Family Reunion. Trevor and Holly were in the process of moving to Rexburg, Idaho and not able to attend, so we stopped for a couple of days to visit. Our Granddaughter, Hailey, loves to dance and play she's a princess. Hailey has a vocabulary that always impresses me for one so young. Thank-you Hailey, for making cookies with me! Do you remember going to the rodeo together?

Holly, you are such a concientious mom to Hailey and Tyler. You have a talent when it comes to quilting. I love the quilted wallhangings that you have given us. And I still think that you have the whitest teeth of anyone I know! I appreciate how patient and supportive you are to Trevor
as he completes his education.
Tyler loves doing all the things that little boys do, like playing with cars and trucks and making those little engine noises!

These are my most treasured blessings: My family, pleasant memories, good health, noble friends, enjoyable employment, the gospel of Jesus Christ and many opportunities to serve the Lord. I am rich indeed. My heart is full for my blessings and I am rich in all things that matter most.

Rejoice! - A New Day