Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grateful Heart

Early Thanksgiving morning--the paper isn't here yet, probably because it has to be stuffed with all the ads for tomorrow's shoppers. While I await its arrival, I ponder what I am grateful for today, and every day! The list is lengthy and I will not post it here, but at the top of my list is Bob, who lets me be me even when it causes him to roll his eyes and shake his head; and my family, whom I love with every fiber of my being. We are so blessed with good children who always try to do what is right and follow God's plan for us--Drew and Amy-Sue and their spouses Tiffany and Gian (who we especially feel blessed to call family--we couldn't have chosen better); the grandkids--Rylee, Cassidy, Camryn, Sabrina, Hudson,Devyn, Tabitha, Peyton, and Charlee -- We love 'em and we are blessed beyond measure to have them so close to us.
What fun they bring to our lives. For all that God blesses us with in our daily lives and the chance we have to serve Him daily we give thanks today and every day!
Now, "let's get this rodeo started" !! Where is that darned paper??

Monday, November 16, 2009

CSULB Homecoming: Yep that's my alma mater!

.Both Bob and I graduated from "Long Beach State College" which, some 50 years later has morphed into California State University Long Beach. This year the "Golden Graduates" were honored at homecoming. Bob is one of those "Golden Oldies" and he went with one of his old football buddies to a very nice Banquet and Program to be honored for still being here after 50 years. Personally, I do not like "banquets and programs". You go, you sit, you eat, then you get gas while people speak and speak and speak--so I opted to not spend $50 for that pleasure.

We did get to visit with our friend, Sonia Richardson, who was the matron of honor in our wedding. She came down from San Francisco, 'cause she's a Golden Grad, too. It was so great to see her .

We went to Saturday's Homecoming events, which included a barbecue and tour of the campus and the season's opening Men's Basketball game. The team looked pretty good. When we went to Long Beach State, there was a football team. Years later, there is no football team. BAH
There was a t-shirt for sale that had a list of the 10 top reasons to choose CSULB. The #1 reason said: They haven't lost a football game since 1991. Hmmmm, yep, that's my alma mater!

Proud Nana Time(again??)

Sabrina won the election at Tincher school. She is now the SNAC (student nutrition a????? council ) vice president. She gave a talk to all the 4th and 5th graders, then the election was held, and she called me (while I was at work at the ALLB Thrift and Vintage Shop) to tell me she won. I like those elections that don't go on forever...! Good job Sabrina!!
Then, on Sunday (please forgive us, the Jr. Olympic Committee doesn't understand about Sundays) Sabrina ran a Cross Country race at Mt. Sac. College and placed 9th (out of 64 runners) to move her one more step closer towards competing at Nationals in Reno. Next week she will run in the last qualifying race in Escondido at Kit Carson park. Go Sabrina Go!
Hudson played Soccer on Saturday and was instrumental in scoring enough points to help his team win, TWICE! Way to go Hudson!!
Everyone else is Sweet, and Kind, and Enthusiastic, and Fun, and I love 'em all!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Been a Long Long Time

Way too long since I've posted. I have tried to keep busy since we got home from Martin's Cove. First Bob and I put together a DVD of Martin's Cove that we can use if anyone wants to see a presentation of one of the most sacred and beautiful places on earth. We had a lot of help from our friend Eric Hayhurst, who is one of our gurus when it comes to our lack of computer knowledge. We did give one presentation to our Ward High Priests Group at a fireside, and with Eric's help, it went well.
Then, I got a calling from the Stake, to be the Stake Education Specialist and Yount Program Specialist. There was some time for training, and it looks like it will take more time when all the Wards get their specialists called. It is an exciting program that has as it basis the encouragement of members to finish, update, and/or reeducate for progression in their career fields.
Bob and I also have been called to organize an "Empty Nesters" group in our Ward. This is purely for fun and to bond the empty nesters in our Ward. We hosted the first event in our home. It was a "Hobo Dinner" with a getting to know you "Census" and a rousing game of
"Fact or Fiction". Next month we plan on heading out to Orange for their annual Nativity '
Scene display, and a dessert afterwards. We also have an invite from Tom and Susie Poe to attend their family's party for the Naples Boat Parade. People are so interesting, and sometimes we don't realize what we have in common.
On the home front, We have two lovely Wilson High School coeds: Rylee is a junior and among other things she does she played a lot of golf for Wilson, and did very well. Cassidy is a freshman and is enjoying the high school experience and especially loving her dance class. In Rogers Middle School we have Camryn, a 6th grader, who has made the girl's basketball team. First game was yesterday and she played about 5 minutes and scored one basket--Whooo Hooo!!
She has the doubious honor of being the shortest girl on the team---small but mighty!
Hudson is in 4th grade at Fremont Elementary and is playing soccer in his spare time. He has greatly improved his skills, and has been chosen on the All Star team! Go Hudson!! He has an old friend of Drew's as a teacher and his best friend is in his class, too (what was that school thinking?) but I think his teacher can handle it. Sabrina is in 4th grade at Tincher and she continues to excel. She is running Cross Country unattached (that means she is not on a team this year--mainly because her team's coach has a son who is fighting brain cancer, so the coach is not able to give the time to an extra team this year) Gian coaches her and runs her around town to keep her in shape. It is hard for her to not have that team support. But, she runs well in her new division where most of the girls are bigger and older than she is. She is running this week-end and next to qualify for Nationals. Go Sabrina!! Devyn is 6 and in the 1st Grade at Fremont, and does well in school. She has a winning smile and a sweetie. Tabitha is in the 1st Grade at Tincher and has bars and rings mastered and has the blisters to show it. She is taking swimming again and is never happier than when she is in the water. She is an excellent speller ( and we think she will be tutoring Rylee, soon): ) Peyton and Charlee are the stay-at-home girls.Peyton is 3 and she is full of mischief. She is, however the boss of the little ones that Tiffany tends each day, since she is the oldest of them. Charlee is 2 and loves to follow all the cousins around and do what they do. Just say Yo Gaba Gaba and she is there!
I am busy with Assistance League-- Thrift Shop assignments ( and making up for the days missed while we were on our Mission) learning to be a puppeteer and memorizing
my script for Kids on the Block, and helping with Orthodontic Clinic mailings and screening days. Bob keeps up with all our friends.
We are blessed this year with health that allows us to do what we do. We are blessed with family close by to enjoy and support.
Let's face it-----WE ARE BLESSED!

Monday, August 31, 2009

We're Baaaaack!

Time flies when you are having fun--and we sure did have fun at Martin's Cove. We also had
a spiritual time, and we worked hard to do all we were asked to do. When one of our TechnoSavvy kids can help me (again) I will post pictures of wonderful Wyoming. What a great place to visit and to serve. I know some family members think we are crazy, but serving a mission gets into our souls, and we just want to do it again. Do we miss our family? Yes we do!
But we know that while they miss us too, they are getting blessings and that helps them to carry on until we return. When I returned home I got the news that Carden School's enrollment is down and I will not be working this year. It is hard on my ego, but I'll live, and I will find other ways to use the talents I have and maybe develop some dormant ones while I'm at it. Heaven knows I have hours to make up at the ALLB Thrift and Vintage Store, and I really want to do Kids on the Block, and there are things to do around our house, and I need to practice the piano so I can play better when we go on our next mission, and maybe Bob and I can play some golf (if I can control my "potty mouth" when I don't hit the ball well), and... well you know, the list goes on. So here we are home again and back with the family we adore. Thanks to them for all the support they always give us. Make it a great day.!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MAYbe there is still time

Last week whizzed by. It was the week that Carden Whittier School's 7th and 8th graders had the opportunity to visit Washington, D. C.; however, not all the students went. We were left with about 17 students who attended school (and a few who went elsewhere with their families). Since we couldn't go on with the curriculum, it meant coming up with a project all the students would enjoy. I decided to have each student make a mini photo album for their mom--using an Altoids box as the outer protection. (it may sound weird, but it will fit in mom's purse, and the bonus is you can eat the Altoids while working on the project). I took almost everything I have in the way of scrapbooking product to school and the students really had a great time using it.
Yesterday, one of the girls came into class and announced that her mother "just LOVED" the Altoids box. Most of the class didn't know what we were talking about--so I showed them the prototype. Now everyone wants to make one. Too bad, 'cause this is my last week of school for this year (MAYbe next year????)
Jolene continues her knitting instruction and she is getting it! I gave her instructions for a washcloth, and when I saw her Sunday she was all smiles because she is on her way to a finished product. Maybe she will finish before we leave ?????
Mothers' Day was fun. Amy-Sue and Tiff each gave me 2 selections of food for dinner. Luckily, they didn't choose the same things, and I was able to fill their requests. They left me with the dessert choice--yum. As gifts they both got DR. Laura's newest book: In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms, money for much desired items I couldn't get, and Amy-Sue got a full pan of lemon bars "just for herself" (but I bet she ended up sharing them). In return I was gifted with an ADORABLE cheery cherry apron, a yellow spatula, a yellow Kitchen Aid Mixer (which has not arrived yet) and a box filled with the (fabled) Carbone amber glassware that I coveted at the ALLB Thrift and Vintage store. ( Tiff went down the day after I first talked about them, and SHE is the one who bought them.) WOW! I was sooooo surprized. MAYbe this week at dinner we will be drinking from them. (ya think?)
We are beginning to really rev up for the Mission. Only a week before we leave. Maybe I need to start making daily lists. We bought a new Canon camcorder so we can record the awesome activities at Martins' Cove. MAYbe we will learn how to use it. Of course, Satan continues to bother us with little stumbling blocks. ( I remember this from last year so it is no surprize, but I hate to start each day wondering what else will go wrong.) Yesterday my phone decided to quit transmitting. After visiting 2 different Verizon stores, (ugh) the "tech man" agreed there is a problem, and a new phone will be shipped to me in 2 days, then I have to take it in, get it reprogrammed and mail the old Satan-infected phone back to Verizon. What the heck--it is just time intensive--but at least MAYbe I'll have a working phone again. (amazing how attached I've become to having a cell phone). We took Amy-Sue and Gian to Outback for dinner last night--belated Anniversary gift. It was yummy, and fun to have just the two of them to visit with.
Amy-Sue invited me to 10th Ward's aerobic class which meets at 6:30 am. After 45 minutes of aerobics, (phew, pant, pant) the ladies end with a little scripture study. What a great way to start the day! MAYbe, they will do this again in the fall -- I hope. Thanks ladies for allowing me to be a part of your day.
I'm truly blessed to have a loving family, friends who amaze me (more about this comment in the future) and opportunities to grow.
There is still time to make this a GREAT week! MAYbe you can make it a GREAT week, too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This MAY be a busy week!

So, it is the week of the 7th and 8th grade trip at Carden, and about 52 students are off to Washington, D.C. The remaining 27 are staying home and many of them will be attending school. (some may be off on their own family outings) The challenge is to plan something interesting and arty for the stay-at-homes to do. I have come up with an oldie but goodie: the purse-sized photo album made from an Altoids box and lots of scrapbooking product. It makes a great gift for mothers--which is part of its popularity. I gathered up all the product I could find, put it in my "Navigator" (rolling supply carrier) and took it all to school. Tuesday, the art class took 2 hours (regularly 45 minutes) and I was worried about boredom setting in; but no, all that product to look at and choose from kept the 17 boys and girls busy. Today, they will have one hour to work and tomorrow, two hours again. I think some might finish today, but with all the product to peruse, I think it will be okay. The rest of the classes are making Mothers' Day cards. As part of the design, they have to sew a button on the center of a flower--that is a challenge! It's a hoot to watch them. I'll just say, I love teaching at Carden.
We had Book Club last night. We had read Glenn Beck's book Real America and the discussion was interesting. We had the opportunity to listen to a CD of him talking about his conversion.
He's led an interesting life, and has a great testimony.
Last Sunday we celebrated Gian's Birthday. We all wish you a great year, Gian and enjoy spending those gift cards! The kids busted out the yoyos and tried to learn how to make them work. I think we are lucky no one got injured--parental guidance definitely needed. Sometimes when we have some new thing to do everyone dashes out the front door, laughing and yelling and dancing around, I see the faces of some neighbors at their windows wondering what are those Ashcrafts up to now. It is fun to be so close, and I know that I will miss Sundays at Nana and Papa's when we are at Martin's Cove.
The H3 had the tow hitch on it now, and stronger cables are on the way. Each day we try to accomplish something, as the time draws nearer for us to go. Every day Bob asks, "What else do we have to do?" We'll probably forget something--we always do--but we're working on it!
So Make it a Great week! (even if it is busy)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Come What MAY

April was not the best month for us, so we are glad to see May come. May 1 started off well. Remember that I have missed out on some merchandise that I really wanted at the ALLB Thrift and Vintage Store? Well, yesterday I scored! It was an "extra placement" day for me and I worked 10-4. As I started the day I toured the store to get acquainted with the merchandise. I have been wanting to add to our "everyday" china set (Rosenthal's "Maria White") so I would have enough dinner plates for the 15 of us, for Sunday dinners. Of course, we chose that pattern in 1960, when we got married, so finding it now would be a internet nightmare for me; plus, I don't buy stuff off the internet (old-fashioned geezer that I am). Well, what do you know? There they were, 8 Maria White dinner plates sitting on a shelf in the boutique section. (there were 8 small bread plates, too, but I didn't need those). Right then and there, I told the others that were working, those are meant for me--I'm buying them at 3:30 (when we can shop and buy)!!!
Yipeeeeeee! I got them!!!!!!! Now I can even have a few extra people for Sunday dinner!! Wannna come? :) :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

I feel like I have to write this just so I can get on with life. Yesterday, we had to have our golden retriever, Tigger, put to sleep. One day short of his 14th birthday, he was in pain, could not get up, and very miserable. We knew the time had come, we'd watched him go down day by day for the last week. (I stayed up with him all night--he just wanted to be petted and loved as he moaned and tried to move.) He gave it his all on Sunday with one last romp with the kids tossing him oranges from the tree. The house seems strangely empty without him. He was by far the most intelligent of any of our pets--often demonstrated that he knew just what we were saying to him--and was a great friend. Originally he was Amy-Sue's dog, but he stayed with us when she got married. (That is how we got almost all our dogs--somebody else raised them, then turned them over to us) We both swear we will not have another pet! It is just too hard to lose them. Thanks Gian for helping us carry him to the car and deal with the vet and Animal Control. (both were very compassionate and did the best they could to make a sad situation bearable).
Goodbye Tigger Bear...we love you!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In Any Case. . .

Last week we scheduled a "big trash" pick up. We had a few big items to get rid of, soooo we did.
Not too much to ask--except--Bob is still in recovery mode from his surgery so he can't lift much. Most of the items were not too hard to handle...until I got to the toilet. Hmmmm they are kinda heavy, so I got the dolly and found that the toilet didn't fit very well. I sure hope nobody was taking pictures of me and the old "t"as I wrestled that monster to the street.
Wow! Just a few hours later a small pickup truck is in front of our house and a very small (but evidently strong) man was seen wrestling the "t" into his truck. By the time morning came, I wondered why we bothered the city with a "big trash" request. So few items were left I probably could have put them in next week's cans. In any case, it's gone!
Thursday I taught at Carden from 9:30 to 2:05, then I dashed from school, in Whittier, to the AssistanceLeague for a tea for new members at 3:00. One of my very good friends from Hill MS teaching days is joining , and I wanted to be there to greet her. Sounds okay so far. The only problem is that parking is at a premium at ALLB and I couldn't car pool, so I had to drive my own car. Not a problem, unless, of course, you are just learning to drive a Hummer! I can't find the parking lines yet, so I had to take up two spaces. I can see that I need practice in that area.
In any case, I got there in time.
Thursday evening was Open House in Long Beach Unified, for elementary schools. Well, we have two different elementaries to get to, and Bob wasn't up for mad dash and crowds, so i hopped into the trusty Hummer and headed for Tincher to visit Sabrina and Tabitha's classrooms. Only had to park two blocks away! Then I jumped (literally, it is a jump) into the Hummer and hummed my way to Fremont to catch up with the Ashcrafts--Camryn, Hudson, and Devyn). Luckily, they had parking on the playground! How fun to see each of them so excited about their work and their school. I remind myself that this is why we don't live on that golf course in Utah. In any case, I think I got to see it all--and believe me, there is a lot to see!
Friday,at 8as my car went back to get its brakes and other parts repaired. We thought we had that done, but obviously not. (see my previous blog) Home by 10:30, I had the pleasure to give Jolene Hale , whom I just met last Sunday at church, a knitting lesson. She is quick to learn, I think she will be pearling next week! In any case, she's a really nice girl and fun to talk to.
At 11:40 I dashed from the house, stopped by the gooey cupcake store for cupcakes, and made it down to Tincher in time for "Power Lunch" with Sabrina, Tabitha, Amy-Sue and Charlee and the other Tincher moms. One hour of fun and conversation.
Then back home to get a few (very few) chores done before the Keesters picked us up for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and the Millikan vs Poly baseball game. Millikan won and remains undefeated! It was a whirlwind day, but in any case. . .tons of fun.
Saturday we had to retrieve my car and then I was on the freeway by 9:15 to meet some members of my Delta Delta Delta alumni chapter at the Orange County Design Home. Instead of just one home, however, there were 6 condos on the 13th and 14th floors of the Central Park West Astoria to see. Things are certainly different in the decorating world. I doubt that I would enjoy living 13 floors up in a structure like that, nice as it was, it just isn't me. What's that you're thinking, "She's getting old"! Yep! You're right. But in any case it was fun to see the latest in decor and colors and then to have a lunch catered by Tulip Rose.
Blessings: being here, being able, having opportunities to be with family and with friends
Now it is Sunday...a new week is starting...make it a GREAT week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Last week was Spring Break for me (Bob is on a perpetual "break") and most of it was spent dealing with cars. Let me just say--I hate buying a car!!! The dealership we bought from was Cerritos GMC, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer (and Penske Smart) and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy! They jerked our chain, pressured us and made the buying experience very unpleasant; to the point that it soured us (especially Bob) on the car we now have. You need to be a Chicago lawyer to deal with them--I didn't get to that class when I was in Pacific Coast University of Law. So, I wouldn't ever deal with them again and we can only hope that their service department will be a more positive experience (if and when we need it) and that's my story. Now I'm truly going to "Bless and Release"and, renew my love affair with a Hummer3. PHEW!
Also, my PT Cruiser needed service and that led to added expense for tires and a brake job, which I think the tire company we went to did not do completely. Why do I think that? Well maybe because when I had to stop quickly, yesterday, for a yellow light, I ended up in the middle of the intersection (oooops--'scuse me--I didn't mean to stop out here--I'll just run this red light and get out of here). PHEW!
Ironically, Amy-Sue and Gian are having car issues, too. Not good to have radiator problems on one of the hottest days of the year. Call the tow truck. How to get the girls to and from school??
We may need to use the H3 to help. The girls are ready for that ride. PHEW!
On the fun and positive side, Sherri Araiza did an Arbonne demonstration at our house last night and some of us "girls" tried out some awesome skin care products. Even Tabitha gave the lotions a try, and she was lovin' being with us.
Back to school, it is good. Busy week, that is good, too.
It is good to get a break from "Spring Break."
Make it a great day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Just" get in, sit down, buckle up, and ride on...

We have spent most of this Spring Break Week, dealing with cars. First, my car needed an oil change, and my brake light was coming on at random, so Bob suggested this would be a good time to get those things taken care of. The dealership where I bought the car went out of business so we had to find a new service center, preferably one close to home AND one that deals with Chryslers. We chose Browning Cerritos Dodge because we had a mailer with coupons from them and they are close. The service agent was nice, listened to me explain the concerns we had (without laughing) and we left the PT there for its servicing. On the way home, we "just happened" by the Hummer dealer and "just happened" to drive in to "just" look. (Bob has never really been excited with his Chevy HHR, so we have looked at other cars to replace it before we go on our Mission to the wilds of Wyoming. We looked around, then left. Later we got the call that one PT tire had a split in it and in another there was a staple,AND the brake pads and rotors are in need of fixing or replacing. The prices were over the top, so we said just finish the service and we'll take care of the other problems. We left home again, went to Allen Tire where we found that we could get 2 tires and get the brakes fixed for a little less than half what we had been quoted at BCD. Picked up the PT, took it to Allen, one hour later all fixed! Next day, we "just happened" to be in Cerritos and we stopped by the Hummer dealer again, just to look, no we don't want to test drive, yes we'll sit in it, open and shut doors, etc. Thanks Victor--see ya :) Yesterday, we went to trade in my Fender guitar (which was too much for me to learn) at Moreys. I got a tenor Ukelele and carrying case and tuner so I am ready for the bluegrass band at Martin's Cove(highlight of each week there). Well, we were so close we decided to "just drop by" the Hummer dealership. Hello, Victor, here we are again. Well yeah, we'd like to drive it. Well, here is our bottom line on price. Sure you can figure it out and we'll see if you can meet it. We like the white one best because it has all the features we like and need. Sure, we'd love to meet your finance man--Hello A.J.--can you keep our payments near the level of the HHR payments??? Uh can come close?
GUESS What! We are now driving a white Hummmmmmmmmer 3. It is towable (behind the RV) but maybe we'll tow the RV behind the HUM3 (just kidding). I've always wanted a Hummer, but it will be Bob's car, "cause I still love my PTCruiser convertable. I'm sure I will be able to drive the H3 for groceries or something. (please, please, please)
Get in, sit down, buckle up, get ready for the urban assault vehicle ride!
Blessings: family (some of whom think we are nuts, but we love them anyway) ability to enjoy things we have wanted, getting ready for the Mission at Martin's Cove starting in 7 weeks, friends near and far (We miss you, Millers! Travel safe!) (Have fun times in San Diego, Del Bellos we'll miss you these 3 days!)
Negatives: I've got to clean the house!
Make it a GREAT DAY!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have I Mentioned...

I love LOVE LOVE baseball--and it is baseball season. Last night we met Bob and Roberta Keester at Blair Field to watch Millikan HS play Jordan HS. (It just happens that Ronnie Keester is Millikan's Baseball Coach!) The game was all Millikan--I think the final score was
15-0--so that was good, but it was fun to visit with the Keesters and to visit with Mr. Keller, the Principal of Millikan, who was Drew and his friends' coach when they went to Newcomb School.
Not only that, but Drew actually showed up at the game with Rylee, Cassidy, Camryn, Hudson,and Sabrina. So much fun to have them around, shagging balls that went over the stands, and cheering the team on (even though they will be, or already are, Wilson HS students).
Earlier in the day I went to Tabitha's (kindergarten) awards assembly at Tincher . So proud of her for getting the Principal's award--she sat so patiently while lots of other awards were given out. I am not a fan of awards assemblies. I think children thrive on smaller group settings for awards, (pictures up in the classrooms, everyone receiving some acknowledgement for their efforts) especially the young ones. Too often the awards assemblies just cause the children to say things like : "I got 3 awards and you only got one" because they see quantity, not importance or quality. I also think that having a lot of awards assemblies takes some of the importance away from the awards. I am glad that Carden School chooses to award for specific individual efforts like: Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Music Recitals, and grade level
productions. Their biomes and science projects are put up for all to see, not awarded with prizes; because the belief is that every student is trying their hardest and everyones effort in all areas is praiseworthy. Anyway, I'm proud of Tabitha's efforts, she's a jewel and she keeps us all hopping (so give her an award for that, while you're at it!)
Well, time to count the change for the Easter eggs. Then off to the Ward Easter breakfast in Rush Park. Then groceries to buy and table to set .....Here comes pati-Sue cottontail with:
Blessings of family, friends, and
Gratefulness for the Atonement this weekend, and always.
Make it a GREAT weekend.!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Homework Central

Monday afternoon--3:45 (or so)--phone rings, and I answer. "Hi nana, this is Sabrina. I need some help with my homework." (Oh boy, I think, I hope it's not too hard.) :). She continues, " I need to know the singular or plurals of these words." (Phew, I'm pretty good with words.) "What are the words, sweetie?" "Alumni" she says. (Hmmmmm) "Alumna" (or is it Alumnae?) "Okay" she says, "and the other one is species" (Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I think third grade is getting too hard for me) " Species " I answer. "Okay" she says (she is so trusting)
Tuesday morning--7:15--phone rings. "Hellllloooo" is your husband awake?" (It's Tiffany) "Well I think he is now" I tell her. I go get Bob and he answers "UHHHH". "Good morning! Could you take Rylee to her orthodontist appointment today?" He comes alive and says "Sure!" Usually that means that he can take Rylee to lunch after the appointment before he takes her back to school. This time, however, she has to get back for Chemistry. (Darn).
Tuesday afternoon--around 4:00--phone rings. Uh oh, I think, I hope I didn't make a mistake with the words! But no, I answer the phone and this is what I hear, "His nana, this is Cassidy. (Phew) I need a poetry book that has rhyming poems in it. I know you have some, I've seen them downstairs on the shelves. I need to borrow one, and my friend needs one too, but I could always share if you don't want to loan her one. Could I borrow one or a couple?" (Oh boy, I think, easy homework today!) "Sure Cassidy I have a few, I'll read you the titles and you can choose." Then we had a little conversation about the Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky books, which were just what she had in mind. "Cassidy," I asked, "do you need these right away?"
"Well, it's due tomorrow". (Ahhh, spoken like a true granddaughter of mine, why do it now if you can wait 'til tomorow?) "Okay, Cassidy, I'm planting some flowers right, but I'll clean up and bring you the books in about half an hour." "Okay", she says "thanks, nana."
This is why we live here, and not in that house on the golf course in Utah. Family nearby, what a blessing. We love you all, and we love to help when we can. After all, what is family for--Love,Support,Help, Understanding,Fun.
btw: What is the plural of species and alumni???????

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's April !

We got our letter from MHHS Martin's Cove, finally, telling us when we need to be there and what space we have for the RV. We think it is the same spot we had last year. All the spaces are filled and we are so excited to see so many familiar names occupying the Loop C spaces. What a reunion! We have found that the people we serve with become like our true brothers and sisters, and since we are both only children, that is very special to us. We got the RV back on Monday, and didn't get lost in the process because I used the navigation feature of my new cell phone to get us there. (ooooo I feel so "techno-savvy"). Bob has spent this week checking and fixing things with the help of our good friend and home teacher Irv Miller. One thing we still have to do is put new tires on it (big expense, but--safety issue). Each new thing gets us more excited! Back to storage for now so it is off the street. Our neighbors are nice but, we don't want to push our luck.
Tuesday was Book Club and our book of the month was Wednesday Letters. I haven't been to Book Club in a long time (although I have read the books) and I found out how much I missed it.
I have felt very out of touch in our newly configured Ward and finally decided that I was causing that myself. It isn't easy for me to reach out, personally, but it is rewarding when I do.
We had the Missionaries over for dinner Wednesday. Elder Watkins is a direct descendent of Peter Mc Bride and of Jacob Hamblin so our conversation was mostly about church history. Retelling the story of the McBride family's events in the Martin Handcart Company was a good reminder for me that I need to review the stories we tell at Martin's cove. It is always great to have the Missionaries in our home and it has been too long since we last were able to feed them and have them share the gospel with us. Hooray for the Missionaries!!
Tiffany's birthday was Thursday--she and Amy-Sue went to Disneyland. What a girls' night out!
(April is adult birthday month: Tiff on April 2 and Gian on April 30).
My classes are still working on their paper mosaics. Some are finishing and I am very pleased with how they look. The Calligraphers (8th grade) are finishing their Haiku Books and they are wonderful .The best part is that they are excited about them, too. The rewards of being a teacher way outweigh the work involved.
General Conference is coming up......I love the General Authorities song--I'm trying to learn it.
Thanks to Amy-Sue for putting it on her blog.
Make it a great day, weekend, month, etc. etc. etc.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March on to the reunion

Wow! It was more interesting than I thought it would be, seeing all the old football players from "Long Beach State College" (better known as CSULB). Thank heavens for nametags in large letters. I found myself asking Carol Tracy if she had noticed how many old men there were at the dinner. Hmmmmm time for me to look more seriously in the mirror! Great to see some friends that we only hear from at Christmas--and some we haven't seen for almost 50 years.
Blessings: health, memories, renewal of acquaintances, people who care about those things
Promises: to communicate more, and take care of ourselves
Make it a great Sunday!

Where did the week MARCH off to?

OOOh that title is not very good English--sorry, Carden School. Anyway, the week came and went and it was fun. Assistance League meeting, always informative and good to see friends that I don't see often enough. Dinner with the Millers--Bucco do Pepe (spelling?) which has really good Italian food. Thanks Amy-Sue and Gian for the coupon to help defray the cost (we don't usually go to such "pricey" places) but it was goooooood! School is moving along, but I am ready to be done with the paper mosaic project (lucky for me, the students still like it and their projects are looking better than I expected) and the Calligraphy students are finally finishing their Haiku books, and they have done a good job and are pleased with them. What is next??? I've got to dream up something right away. Sabrina got her cast off, for good we hope, on Thursday and I got to take care of Tabitha and Charlee for a while. Meantime, the Keesters picked up Bob and they went out to dinner before going to the Millikan vs Wilson baseball game. When Gian and Amy-Sue and Sabrina got home, I walked over to Blair Field to join Bob and the Keesters. I love baseball--any variety--so it was fun for me, and since Ronnie Keester is Millikan's baseball coach, and they won, it was a great game. Amy-Sue, Charlee, and Tabitha brought their Chick Filet lunch over on Friday (and picked up some for us,too..yummy). Just fun to have them around. Friday night, Rylee celebrated her recent (16th)birthday by going out to dinner with 5 friends and then coming to the Ashcraft Community Center (aka, our house) for a night of movies and sleep (?) over. Actually, we didn't hear them at all. Our downstairs TV is very old, so I hope they got to see the movies they brought. ( I think we need to do something about that!) We are having the eaves on our house boxed in and then we will never have to worry about painting or replacing them again. Wait, how do we put us the Christmas lights, now?? Well, I guess we have a few months to ponder that question. ( Good bye termites in the faceia boards!) Today is CSULB 49er football players' reunion that Bob has been working on, so we will see some people we haven't seen in a looooooongggggg time. Good thing they are going to have name tags (which I really despise). Should be fun especially for Bob. Ooops, the girls are up--the workers are here for the eaves--time to get moving. March is almost gone, phew!
Positives: family, friends, reunions, blessings of health, maintenance, good food
Make it a great weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

MARCH on your birthday gift!

We have discovered the very best birthday gift ever--and it happened at our Sunday family dinner for Sabrina. She chose spaghetti for her dinner, and "lettuce...oh yeah, I mean salad", and bread (with Clearman's spread on it) and for dessert, ice cream drumsticks (with no nuts). So that is what we had, ( even though Bob wondered "Didn't we just have spaghetti last Sunday?" Me: "well, yes we did, but it is Sabrina's choice and she is part Italian!) Then came the gifts. Now, Sabrina is organized, and she had a list of items she would like to receive, so we could have some shopping choices. I don't remember them all, but I do remember that there were quite a few pet choices -- including a hamster, horse, fish, puppy, ...-- camera, rollerblades, clothes, and ten sheets of bubble wrap, to list a few. Well the pet situation is a no go says Mom Amy-Sue, and the clothes were taken by parents. That left rollerblades (and a new helmet, said Amy-Sue); but since Sabrina is still side-lined with a broken finger I decided that would be torture to get something that he little active self could not use for a while. Camera sounded good--her Mom is a getting quite good with her new camera so they can collaborate. Aunt Tiff and Uncle Drew and family took care of the pet issue with a butterfly farm that Sabrina can hang from the ceiling. BUT. . .both Tiff and I could not resist the TEN SHEETS OF BUBBLE WRAP! and, as it turned out, neither could Sabrina, her sisters, and her cousins. With screams of joy the popping began--they used their hands, elbows, chins, rear ends, feet and bodies, and then we all went outside and rolled Sabrina up in bubble wrap (which might be a good idea, since she is the one with the most injuries in the whole family) and then we unrolled her down the driveway. To end it all, we laid the bubble wrap out and Sabrina ran up and back, nine times while we all tried to swat her as she ran past. For good measure, Rylee had to take a turn running up and down 16 times, because we missed swatting her on her February birthday. I'm sure the neighborhood was delighted with our noise, as some peeked out their windows. "Oh, it's those Ashcrafts and DelBellos again." SOOOO if you are looking for a gift that is sure to please...head for the bubble wrap. Happy Birthday Sabrina--

ps. The reason for 10 sheets of bubble wrap? So each cousin could have their own piece! That's how Sabrina is--she is a jewel!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

the weeks March on...

Our week was not too unusual. . .except that we didn't have dinner with the Millers on Monday because Joan was feeling sickey. Instead, we dined at Ruby's with Amy-Sue, Gian, Sabrina, Tabitha and Charlee because is was a fund raiser for Tincher's kindergarten classes. Tabitha was beside herself because Mrs. Matthews, her teacher was sitting in the booth right behind her. I typically do not like hamburgers, but I have to say that Ruby's has a good burger. We got home early, which was a good thing since I got a phone call from one of the eighth grade teachers telling me she wanted her (afternoon) class to have a 9:30am Calligraphy class Tuesday for Visitation. (I usually don't get to school until about 9:40). That class went well, as did the Wednesday 5th grade Art class I had. Along with visitation we have the Book Fair--sigh--so many books, so little money. Scary news from our friends the Bishops, Ed had to be airlifted to SLC from St. George, because he had bleeding in his brain, caused by a fall he took while playing tennis a month ago. Medical procedure went well, and he is on the mend...Janice says "No more tennis!" It is comforting to know that as we pray for people by name, specifically, the Lord stands by to help. On Thursday,we drove over to the storage area where we keep the RV, which is next to the Long Beach airport. By driving around in there we were able to get a fairly decent picture of Air Force One. Never mind who flys in it--it is awesome to see the huge words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA across the side of it. Yesterday was interesting. We decided to take the RV in for oil change and servicing, and a generator check-up. The two places that used to do our servicing are both out of business, so we headed to a different place--and that was our downfall--we got lost! I was following Bob (he was driving the RV--not easy to lose) but he went one way and I went another and I ended up in Costa Mesa and he (finally)in Irvine. All I can say is thank heaven for cell phones. Today, Hudson has a soccer game, and I have to get Sabrina's BD gift (I was gonna do that yesterday, but --- lost). Another "normal " week.
Good news: friends are feeling better
Promises: learn to use the GPS
Make it a great weekend!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The "Ides of March"

Well here it is halfway through March and we are almost totally back to our old routines. We were so lucky to have our friends Don and Carolyn Fickes come to visit us for the weekend. We have become so close, even though they live in Idaho and we live in California. Bob and Don converse almost every day on the phone and when we come together, it's like we never were apart. They spend their winters in Yuma, and decided that before they head home (about the first of April) they needed to see us in "real life"; so they braved the freeways (Carolyn HATES our freeways) and drove up from Yuma. We talked and reminised about our two Missions together, and caught up on families, and played Dominoes, and sight-seed(?) sight-saw(?) hmmmm showed them Long Beach. It was CUW on Saturday so Carolyn got to shop with us and then have lunch at Shenandoah (YUMMMY) , while Bob and Don went South along the ocean and then returned to have lunch at Joe Jost's. (and didn't even bring us an egg!) Wow! It was so great to see them. CUW is always fun,too. Amy-Sue, Tiffany, Rylee, Cassidy, and I met up with Melissa and Jessica Johnson, Courtney, and Natalie and Faith Fields for the lunch experience. I love the chance to be with the family girls and I found myself thinking what it will be like when the younger girls get old enough to join us. Will we all fit at Shenandoah, inside?
I'm starting to save now for the luncheons. We are starting to gather items and make to-do lists for our upcoming Mission. May is not that far away and time is flying. Meantime, Sabrina's birthday is approaching and before that, Spring Visitation at Carden is this week. Gotta get that art work up, and my "parent lesson" ready. Busy Busy Busy. I love it!
Blessings: family, friends, missions, health.
Make it a Great week!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Time MARCHES On :)

It's March! Out with the red, in with the green! Out with the hearts, in with the shamrocks.
We laughingly celebrate "St. pati-Sue's Day", and Sabrina's BD this month, too. Bob continues to recover, and complain about the "no driving for two weeks" edict Dr. Ingram gave him. "It's like I'm in prison" he says; so when I get home from school I take him for a ride. I will be as happy as he will be when he can drive himself. Tomorrow is doctor day (both the cardiologist and the urologist) and hopefully we can put an end to some meds Bob takes, and give up the frequent trips to doctors' offices. We have had some nice visits with friends this week. Friends are blessings! So are doctors, but they are better when you do not need to visit them.
Beginning this month with gratitude for health, family, friends, and weather (rain and sun)
Beginning this month with promises to walk more, and eat a little less (hmmmmm?????)
Make it a great month!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

All Is Well

Bob is home! Body parts seem to be working well. No pain to speak of. A little tired from an overnight stay in Los Alamitos Hospital (who can rest in a hospital?). Bummed out because he cannot drive for two weeks. But, as it says in the Kaiser commercial: "Things are lookin' up!"
Make it a great day!!! :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Long Time, No Blog

Life has gone on without me doing much blogging. We've had some fun experiences along the way. To briefly list a few: (1) A weekend at the Marriott in Palm Desert at the invitation of our friends Ed and Janice Bishop. They have a time share in Park City, Utah; and sometimes trade it for a week in Palm Desert which they then invite friends to spend part of the week with them.
We went on Friday and came home on Sunday. The weather was great and we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to visit with them and relax. We played games, watched movies, and walked, and talked. Everything was fine, except that one of the movies was "Eight Below", a story about eight Husky dogs. Well two looked just like our Tasha and that just did me in! I cried through the whole movie. (I said I didn't want to see the movie but Janice and I came back from a walk "just in time".) We had to put Tigger, our Golden Retriever, into the new SPCA "Pet Hotel" while we went away. He is getting so old, we were worried, but the facility is so nice and the people were so nice, Tig hardly knew we were gone. (2) Celebrating Rylee's 16th birthday. It isn't that we did so much, she had the traditional choice of dinner menu and the singing of Nana on birthday morning (whattta way to start the day!). It's just the fact that she IS 16. I remember the day she was born--the whole Hardey family and all of us Ashcrafts and a friends were all crammed in one very small waiting room...waiting. We all decided to sneak up to the door of her room and listen to see if we could hear anything. There we all were with our ears to the door, and Drew opened the door and we all literally fell into the room--but she hadn't had the baby yet! OOOps. I'm sure the little hospital was glad to see us all leave when Rylee finally arrived. (3) Sabrina broke her finger, and she has been such a trooper through all the xrays and two casts she has had, so far. And so, I might add has Amy-Sue, driving over the bridges to appointments. (4) Too much doctoring for me. As I have said, Bob and I are not doctoring people. This past week the appointments piled up on us--Bob had a pre-op appt. with Dr. Ingram, I had a dental appt., Bob had to get blood work and xray, and ekg, and more blood work, and I had a eye-doctor appt. Then today Bob had a surgery labeled TURP (which stands for cleaning out of the urinary tract and prostrate). He is fine (at least he was when I left the hospital a while ago) and he will come home tomorrow. This is supposed to be the final step in his recovery from the mysterious "infection" of 2008. Now, we both need to start conditioning for our mission!!!
More walking to get in shape. Look out Wyoming, here we come!
So along with Carden for me and committee meetings for a Long Beach State 49er football team reunion for Bob time marched on. Hope all your lives are busy, and productive, and full of family and friends. Make it a great day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Return to Capistrano

We had so much fun getting together with our friends from Escondido yesterday. The Millers and we (?) travelled down to San Juan Capistrano and met our friends the Seatons, and Ritters (who travelled up from Escondido) to have a late lunch at El Adobe. We seriously missed spending New Years with them this year. It seems that families grow and old traditions need to be abandoned--so maybe a late lunch with them will take the place of camping at Chula Vista Marina. Anyway it was great to get together--and we still had time for Quiddler when we got back to the Miller's house. (Gotta keep those brain cells active!)
Blessings: safe travel, good friends
Regrets: letting go of old traditions
Make it a great week!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another Week of Normal Life

It's good to be normal again. Church and dinner on Sunday. Dinner and Quiddler with Millers on Monday. Tuesday at Carden--I'm glad the classes are finishing their landscape pictures.
The pastels are looking good and many of the watercolors are really good! (have I mentioned that I love watercolor paintings?) Wednesday and Thursday at Carden, as well. Friday was Mom's Muffin Morning at Tincher and since Amy and Gian have two girls there, I went as a "stand-in mom" with Sabrina. I even got a good idea for an art project when we have Parent Visitation Day at Carden. Then, off to the Assistance League Thrift Shop to donate a few extra hours to make up for the future days in the summer that I hope to miss while we are at Martin's Cove. Always fun to work at the Thrift and Vintage store, but I didn't find anything to buy this time. (I'm still recovering from missing the Carbone glassware) Saturday is basketball, with Sabrina playing her first game for this year and even scoring one basket! Camryn had two games but we could only be at the YMCA game, which was a winner, too! And then this afternoon a blast from the past--Ronnie Wurtz and Dr. Brad Davis came to visit us. They were Boy Scouts in Bob's first Scout troop in the 1960's. So fun to visit with them and relive old times. They were fun then, and they still are.
Blessings: family, friends (old and new)
No regrets today
Make it a great day!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where did January go?

The month ends today and time has passed by in a hurry. Since I last posted I have had the chance to attend the regular Assistance League meeting and meet some more people. Bob had a doctor's appointment, and is now waiting to hear when he can have the surgery to (ugh) clean out his prostate. Sabrina played in her first violin concert this week and I was amazed how well they did. We tell her she is learning to "screech the cat"-- didn't sound like that at the concert though! Yeh, I am a proud Nana! She looked so sweet standing in the first row looking so serious about her music. We went to our friend's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, where Bob was
asked to give the Eagle Charge. Friday I had lunch with other ladies ,celebrating Carol Tracy's birthday at the Cheesecake Factory. If you can't find something to eat on their extensive menu, you just aren't hungry! My first time there, it is pricey, but yummy!!!
Saturday, Camryn played a great game of basketball, and her team won--by 2 points! I continue to be impressed with the quality of play and sportsmanship I see exhibited by these 10 and 11-year-old "kids". We are blessed to live close enough to be able to share these moments.
It makes every week fun and special. Love y'all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

She who hesitates is lost!

You guessed it! The Carbone glassware is gone. I should know better--oh well.
Moral: If you see it and it calls your name, do not delay--BUY IT!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Normal Is Good!

It seems that after many "abnormal" weeks, things are pretty much back to normal. A week ago Friday I was able to work at the Assistance League Thrift Shop on my regular assignment.It was good to be back with the ladies and look over what's new since I was able to work last November. (I even have my eyes on some Carbone glassware, and I am hoping no one else gets it first. Maybe I'll get there tomorrow! If I'm meant to own it, it will still be there.) Last weekend was uneventful, and normal. Monday we had dinner at Soup Plantation with the Millers and played Quiddler afterward. The only unusual thing about that is that I won, for a change! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I taught at Carden. It is so good to be back there, it is a wonderful place to work! Wednesday we got a Subway sandwich and went to the Port to eat and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Boy the weather is so nice, not a normal January! Friday evening Bob and Roberta Keester came over. We visited and caught up on our travel plans, and we promised to get together more often. They are good friends and it is fun to just talk to them because their perspective on life is great! Saturday I took Sabrina and Tabitha for the morning.
We went to cheer for Camryn at her basketball game. It was a good, well-played game and her team won! Then we made a stop at the bank and on to Michael's. Tabitha doesn't like shopping, but I didn't know that until she told me "We've been shopping long enough (about 10 minutes).Let's find something else to do" so we picked up Bob and went to Chick Fil A for lunch.
Wonder of wonder, the COW was there and we even got a picture of Tabitha and Sabrina with
him (her?) (it?). Just normal fun. Today we went to 10th Ward to hear Amy-Sue speak. She did a GREAT job!!!!! Dinner with the family--our normal routine--always fun especially with Tiffany's game Snort----? (can't remember the name) but it is a hoot. Bob didn't play, but that is normal for him. It is really good to get back to normal. Make it a great week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to School ! !

The day finally arrived, the planets are in line and all systems are go for me to return to Carden Whittier School. Bob feels good today, Tigger is hanging in there and more alert and I am out of here! It is so good to be back--to greet the students (whose names I am trying hard to remember) and to get into the paints and sketching and visiting with the teachers. We are so formal at Carden that I know very, very few of the teachers' first names; even though I have known most of them for five years. We are Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Robb, Mrs. Ashcraft, etc. Reminds me of being on a mission where everyone has the same first name--Sister (or Elder), but we all care about each other as if we were best friends. The children seemed almost as happy to see me as the teachers (who had to do their own art lessons while I was gone). Yep. . . things are looking up.
Blessings: Bob's progress and improvement, a job to go to that I love, family and friends (some without first names)
Problems: Imperial Highway is once again torn up and the traffic is a mess
Promises: No complaining--just leave a little earlier, NO COMPLAINING (where is that darned purple "complaint-free world" bracelet??)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Best Laid Plans. . .

I was set to go back to Carden School today. I even called one of the teachers and she was so happy to not have to plan an art lesson for the 7th & 8th grade classes. . .BUT. . .I woke up this morning to "two men down". First of all, Tigger the dog (who is over 14 yrs. old) is not feeling well--doesn't want to eat or get up--had a little pee pee accident in front of the door--just wants an occasional love pat (don't we all?). So the 5am mop up started my day and I just had a feeling things might not be too good, right then. Then Bob woke up and couldn't get comfortable, and after a lot of coaxing, told me had a "little" pain in his chest. Now we've had this on two other occasions and they turned out to be nothing, but it is something I cannot ignore even though he is saying "No don't stay home".
Swell, I think, man in pain and potential dead dog--this day is going to be a beaut! I am so lucky to work for a very good and understanding friend who doesn't mind calls early in the morning from an art resource teacher who will not be there today. I love Carden School, but I may have to turn in my artist's beret and be a stay-at-home wife, nurse, mop-up lady, until things are really normal (if there is such a thing!??)
Blessings: people who are understanding, concerned family, Heavenly Father who bolsters me up
Regrets: unfulfilled comittments,
Promise: I will make it a Great Day, come hell or high water!