Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chirstmas Countdown December 4th

1 Nephi 11:14-17, 20-23

14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Countdown

Hi, Happy Holidays!

A few years ago I came up with a Christmas countdown that shared scriptures of the prophecies of Christ's birth.  I enjoyed doing it, and taking some time each day to think about the Savior, and to remember that God keeps his promises to us all was a good reminder for my poor, sometimes weak, soul.  I've decided to do it again this year.  I'm hoping to be able to find something for every day...you'll forgive me if I miss one or two along the way.  Here's todays scripture.

Isaiah 9:6-7: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

'Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end..."

Hope you all have a blessed Christmas season.
You are loved.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Brand New Season

Hey!  I'm writing a blog post for the first time since June.  I don't know that anyone will even read this anymore, it's been so long.  Still, I'm going to send this post out there and see what happens.  Let's do a recap of the summer.  Spoiler Alert!  It's been rumored that I die at the end of this episode.  I don't.

It was a good summer. Nothing unusual or particularily spectacular, but that's okay.  Spectacular should be used rarely, too often and the glitz wears off.  I did take a trip back to Minnesota, and it was great.  Let's take one step back - in the beginning of this year my parents decided to sell their home in Moorhead and move to southern Minnesota where they'll be closer to my two youngest brothers and their families.  Their house went up for sale a day or two before I arrived.  It had never been so immaculate!  And, it had to stay that way, ready for anyone come through the door to see it at any time.  I like to resort to my teenage self and throw my clothes all over the floor of my room when I'm at home, but not this time. 

The move also meant that it was likely my last trip to the old stomping grounds.  My parents sold the farm that I grew up on about 10 years ago and moved into town, so I said goodbye to my childhood home then.  This move didn't make me as sentimental as that one did, but still, I wanted to go to some of my favorite places one more time.  We drove out to Glyndon, the little town where I went to school, and drove past the elementary and high school.  It has been remodeled since I was there, but some of it is still the same, like the windows all in a straight row along the elementary school. You look at them and can picture the classrooms on the other side.  I love looking at something like thos windows; something that I haven't seen in years, and had forgotten about, but when I look at them again they're instantly familiar. 

We down the main drag through town, which now has one stop light, which I swore I'd never stop at (twenty years driving through that town without stopping, I'm not going to do it now!).  I had a job at the Tastee Freeze on that street all through my high school years.  While we were driving I mentioned stopping there, to which Mom answered that it was closed.  What?  I was stunned, but not as much as I was when we drove passed that corner and found that the building had been torn down.  Gone!  Nothing but an old slab of cement where the Tastee Freeze used to be.  It was so strange to have a landmark of my childhood and teenage years wiped out like that, and I thought that I was for the first time experiencing a sign of getting older - places I knew disappearing.  I wish that it were still there.  Even though I'll probably never be in Glyndon again, I wish that I could still picture it standing there. 

After Glyndon, we drove out to the old farm.  I don't know how many of you have moved far away from the place where you grew up, but those who have will know what it's like to suddenly have that "home" feeling back again.  I don't know that any place you live has as much of a lasting effect on the soul as the place where you spent your childhood.  I've been away now for more than 20 years, but when I'm back there the grass and trees, the smells in the air, even the way the breeze blows feels like home.  I don't know how to describe it.  We drove down the gravel road toward the farm, and it was suddenly 1982 again, and I was 12, and it was all the same. 

We don't really know the people who live in our old house now, so we didn't go onto the property, just stopped on the road and took a look at it from there, and I took this picture.  Some of those trees were either babies or didn't exist when we lived there.  You can stick a pencil in the ground in Minnesota and you'll soon have a tree.

This is the view back down the road.  Wow, I've taken more space to talk about Glyndon and and farm than I intended to, got a little nostalgic I guess.  My time in Minnesota also included a Sivertson family reunion, always a good time!  I think most of the 4 of you who read this blog are also facebook friends and will have seen pictures there, so I'll skip it here.  After the reunion my parents and I went to Rochester for a couple of days with Courtney's family, always a good time.  Lets share some more pictures.
Mom and Amalia
Michael, Matthew, Jake, Josie and Jonny at the science museum
 Olivia at the zoo
Amalia, Spencer and Drew 
 That's what I did on my summer vacation.

And now it's fall, my favorite season.  I do have some new developments to share, but you'll have to come back for the new season of the blog to find out what those are. 

In the meantime a word to the wise - when at the park, it's not a good idea to let the kids run up the wrong end of the slide.  There's a ladder for going up, and a slide for going down, and mixing those two up is an accident with injuries waiting to happen.  I learned this with my nephews just the other day.  So use proper park safety precautions, enjoy the fall air, and remember - you are loved.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The End of an Era

Last Friday Savannah and I went out for dinner and shopping for her birthday.  It's a tradition that we started years ago.  Actually it doesn't seem like that many years, but it must have been because Savannah just turned 18. 

You remember the girls, yes?  Barry's three daughters.  Some of you who used to work with me at the store will remember their little faces coming to visit every so often.  Others will have heard way too many stories and seen way too many pictures.  They were cute, huh?  Well that's all over now because they've grown up.  I wrote Sierra's eulogy when she went off to college; Mariah's when she graduated from high school, and now Savannah.  I guess she's still cute, for a little while.

Savannah was 3 months old when I moved back to Salt Lake after coming home from my mission.  Such a beautiful baby, and so quiet.  I stayed with Barry and Melody for a few months while looking for an apartment, and slept on a mattress in her room.  On babysitting nights, while the other two ran wild instead of going to bed, Savannah laid quietly on a blanket in the living room waiting for her turn.  I'd go in, see her there, and say, "Oh! Savannah!" then pick her up to cuddle and talk for a while.

Another night, when she was a toddler, I was babysitting again, and this time she was the one who didn't want to go to bed.  She said that she was scared of the monsters in the closet.  I said no, there weren't any monsters in there.  She insisted that of course there were, so I picked her up and carried her to the closet for an inspection.  We took a good look and then I said, "See, no monsters."  She looked at me and said, "Let's go check out on the couch."  Well played, but her move to get out of her bedroom did not work, and she was soon asleep. 

And now she's grown up.  Not as cuddly as she used to be, sometime during middle school she decided that she didn't like hugs.  Ridiculous.  I've been fighting that ever since, and she endures me with the same quiet fortitude that got her through those baby years.  She has a kind heart, a sharp brain, and great sense of humor, and her head on straight, pointed forward.  I really, really love her.  Come January she will be with the other two at BYU-Idaho.  Barry and Melody will be empty nesters.  It's hard to believe.  

I decided some years ago that I would stop buying birthday presents after the kids turned 18 because with so many kids now I had to draw a line somewhere.  But with each one I've been a little sad when that last present was bought.  And Friday, as I drove away from Savannah's house, I couldn't help tearing up a little knowing that not only was it her last birthday outing, but that those years with the girls are done.  It is the end of an era.  A really great era.  I hope they still remember me when they're 100.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It is Kind of Funny

I was at Marla’s on Sunday afternoon, and of course spent most of the time following William around. We went into the backyard where he showed me their garden and a big pile of fertilizer that they had just had delivered. He said, “That’s cow poop.”  Ha, I started to giggle, and told him not to climb in the pile of cow poop. He agreed, in all seriousness.

William has a friend about his same age who lives in the house on the other side of the backyard fence. We’ll call him Olie. While we were in the yard he spotted Olie and started hollering to him. He ran over to a lawn chair that was very strategically placed right up against the fence, climbed up on the seat, the arm, and then to the top of the very back of the chair where he could just reach the top of the fence and pull his little chin over it. From there he and Olie had a shouting match that only they could understand. Every now and then he’d turn around and repeat to me what was going on over the fence. Olie has a little dog named Sadie. She showed up in their backyard and William hollered at her, and then turned to me to tell me about Sadie, and then he said…

“Sadie poops EVERYWHERE!” It was the beginning of a rant of gibberish that was so cute I couldn’t stop laughing.

William stopped and looked at me, almost in disgust, “Poop’s not funny, G.”

“I’m sorry. You’re right.”

He explained to me with all of his 4-year old exuberance exactly why poop isn’t funny, including something about it getting on his foot.  All from the top of his chair, up against the fence.

There was another time when we were talking on the phone that he went off on something going on in their house. I don’t remember now what it was, but he had strong feelings. I was laughing, of course, because he’s adorable, until he stopped the discussion to ask me what I was laughing at. I guess I’ll have to take him more seriously from now on. But look, look at how cute he is! How can I help it?

His 4th birthday, and yes that is a Legos garbage truck on his cake, and it was awesome.

I’m in a new class with BYU-Idaho (online) in my life-long attempt to finally finish my degree. It’s a research and writing class, and we are asked to pick a topic that we will work and re-work for the entire semester. I’ve decided to look into the post-World War II history of Korea. As most of you know, my sister, and William’s mom, Marla was born in Korea and spent a few years in an orphanage there until my parents adopted her in 1975. She has vague memories of her life there. I’ve decided to use this opportunity to really learn about what was going on in the country at the time, and to understand the world she was living in. If the final paper is worth printing then I’ll put it into a book for her and her boys. I love Marla so much. She’s one of my greatest blessings, and I don’t know why I didn’t do something like this sooner.

In other news, and kind of related because Marla went to this event with me, my good friend Joel hosted a backyard concert at his home on Sunday. He sang several songs that he had written and recorded with Afterglow, all about faith and hope in the Savior. It was a beautiful evening, perfect weather, good music, all very, very nice.

It seems that the blogging world is fading. I don’t post much anymore, and neither do most of you, my friends. But, I keep looking for news from you, and will still share things here and there.

Thanks, as always, for checking in. You are loved.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is Only a Test

Sometime last week employees of the COB got handouts telling us about an upcoming earthquake drill and how to respond to it. There were pictures with urgent labels telling us to Drop! Cover! Hold On! and pictures of a friendly stick-mail office worker getting under a desk and gripping it for dear life. Monday we were told in a staff meeting that the drill would be today, Tuesday, at 10:15, and that we all had to participate. The members of the Emergency Response Team would be coming around to see that we were all under our desks and holding on before giving the all clear. One of the older men asked if there would also be someone coming around to get him out from under his desk. Ha Ha, oh wait… I think that was a serious question.

This morning everyone was abuzz about the 10:15 drill, “What if I’m on the phone?!” “Do I really want the computer over my head?” I actually started thinking through the whole thing and taking a good look under my desk. There are two power strips under there, and a lot of power cords for the computer and the phone. Is a dark hole of potential sparking, fizzing, smoke and high voltage really where I want to be in an emergency? I found a corner back behind me (my cubicle/desk wraps around like the letter C), where there’s an open spot free from cords and other dangers, and made mental note to dive in that direction. What a relief.

We have a coworker here who spends at least half of his day wandering around the floor visiting everyone, opening up closed doors and sticking his head in, asking where everyone is, and yapping away with anyone who will pretend to listen. I think he thinks that he’s taking care of business, but really he’s just a busy-body. A few minutes before the drill, I was walking down the hall and saw him in someone’s office talking, and wondered just whose office he would be in when the alarm sounded, and will that person be willing to share cover under his or her desk? The two of them wrapped up in fetal positions, nose to nose… I kind of doubt it. Cheryl gave me a definite no when I asked her.

10:15, appointed drill time, came and we were ready. We heard something like a bell, and then a voice over the PA telling us that this was a drill, and would everyone please drop and take cover. We did. Cheryl’s desk is right next to mine, we share a cubicle wall. We were scrunched down with our faces in the same corners and I heard her say, “Are we allowed to talk?” Everything went dead quiet. I said, “It’s so quiet in here!” “It really is.” I kept picturing Cheryl on the other side of the wall, all curled up. We were like two prisoners in damp cells quietly sending signals to each other, letting each other know that we weren’t alone. Also, we were like two grown women in skirts scrunched up under our desks trying not to choke to death on the dust, which is a less romanticized, more accurate picture.

After about a minute we got the all clear to come back out into the light of day. Just as I was straightening up, there’s our busy-body with a camera! “Oh, you were too fast. I didn’t get your picture.” What? Why? The only picture he would have gotten would have been of my derriere. Why on earth? This guy just gets weirder every day. It’s a good thing he didn’t take that picture or he would have lost his camera, and maybe an eye.

I asked if we should go down to the second floor where some of our good senior is to see if got out from under his desk, but no one did. Maybe he’s still there? And now I have a pain in my back, just under my right shoulder blade, which has to be the result of being in a fake earthquake. I’ll go talk to my HR rep and start the paperwork.

I actually do think that the drill was a good idea, all ridiculousness aside.  We're on a fault line, and an earthquake will hit someday.  We have to know how to act when it does.  And I've got my corner, away from the power cords.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Birthday in San Diego

I have for years wanted to go to the coast for my birthday.  This year Melody and I finally did it.  Much thanks, up front, to the Fabulous Melody for booking the flights and the hotel.  She's one of the best things that ever happened to me.  And she has a friend who gives us a deal at Marriott.  We had a bay view room on the 23rd floor, so swanky.

Breakfast every morning was at the Broken Yolk Cafe.  The food was good; we could walk from the hotel, and it had this awesome fan.   

After Eggs Benedict under the Big Ass Fan, we took a trolley tour of San Diego, with a stop in Balboa Park.  See the lovely Spanish architecture.

The botanical gardens in the park grew the prettiest orchids I've ever seen.  

Back on the San Diego port.   

On our second day we took the ferry across the bay to Coronado Island.  When I took this picture of Melody she said that it better not end up on Facebook.  She said nothing about the blog.

Coronado Beach

My toes in the water.   

The beach was gold, literally gold, white sand full of gold flecks, shimmery, iridescent, and indescribably beautiful. We spent the afternoon reading, walking in the water, reading some more, eating, chasing a seagull away from our leftovers (Melody did the chasing), and getting the worst sunburn I've had in years. Strange, we didn't even think about the chance of sunburn. It's March. It was a nice cool day.  We were wearing shorts and t-shirts, so fully clothed, and yet we were both flaming red by the end of the day. Best way to get a sunburn ever.

Coronado Beach is the setting for the Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis movie "Some Like it Hot".  This is the Hotel del Coronado, also in the film.  It's gorgeous.  The trolley tour man said that the wood was shipped down from Northern California by boat, and that it's the largest coastal, wood hotel in the world. 

We got home last night, exhausted, sore, relaxed and happy.  Happy Birthday to me.