Saturday, November 27, 2010


As a delicious meal was digesting in my stomach Thanksgiving evening, while surrounded by family and friends, I started looking through all of the Black Friday ads. I caught myself muttering "there is SOO much that I want!"

Wow. What a brat! Not exactly the spirit of Thanksgiving huh? I figured I needed to redeem myself. I have so much to be grateful for:

* We are all healthy: No one in our family has an awful disease. There are no long-term physical or mental challenges that we have to fight day-in and day-out.
* We are all safe: We don't live inside a war zone. Our family exists within the cocoon of a safe neighborhood, in a safe town.
* All of our basic needs are well meet: We don't struggle to put food on the table. Throughout the history of the world, how many people can say that? Our house is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have ample access to medical care. Diamond has a good, secure job that he enjoys.
* We love each other: I consider myself to be very happily married. The love I feel for my children makes me physically ache. I have incredible extended family and the best friend I could ever hope for.
* I feel purpose in life: I have a deep and abiding belief that God is real and that he knows and loves me. I know why I am here.

And yet somehow I still manage to complain that I don't have enough. Hmm. I suppose that multi-billion dollar advertising industry is doing its job. But I need to be smarter than that. More grateful.

After all, "If a fellow isn't grateful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be grateful for what he's going to get." - Frank Clark

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why We Are NOT Going to Utah

We were hoping to drive to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with Diamond's family. The boys were so excited to see their cousins and I was really, really looking forward to some time "away."

A live shot of Eisenhower tunnel I-70:

We have been watching the forecast, but either Colorado's mountains are getting hit or Utah's mountains are under a blizzard warning. We checked both I-70 and I-80. We were willing to travel different days. The storms aren't letting up. We just can't find an eight hour window to drive through.

Evanston WY this afternoon:
At some point, you just have to concede that mother nature is The Boss.

It looks like it's another Colorado Thanksgiving for us. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Sometimes the responsibility of watching over more than 150 women overwhelms me in ways I can't even begin to articulate.

Sometimes I feel like the weight of other people's sorrow is so heavy I'm likely to buckle under it.

Sometimes I will spend a day visiting, crying with, and listening to women, only to come home and have a message or email informing me about one more awful, devastating thing.

Sometimes I feel like it's just too much. Too big. Too heavy.

Being intimate with other people's pain is beyond hard, and it has changed me.

I have a unique vantage into other peoples lives. I see the heartbreak and I hate that part. Hate. It. But I suppose that because I have been so close to the pain, I have also been privy to the grace.

I have seen how there can be peace in the middle of the storm, and how God can give us beauty for ashes.

I have seen something that can only be described as magic when these women come together.

I have witnessed dazzling strength
.....inexplicable power,
.....pure goodness,
.....unwavering faith,
.....breathtaking love.

I have seen saints. And warriors. And heroes. Often all in the same person.

I see the marks of angels all around me.

And that has made me a better person.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010

Some Halloween shots: Big Boy #2 was a Crunch Bar, the Caboose was Captain America and Big Boy #1 was a pirate.

When the Caboose spotted a haunted house in the neighborhood, he said "I would never go to a haunted house without my costume." "Why not?" "In my costume I could fight the witches."

The boys chillin' at the church Trunk or Treat, where the kids treat-or-treat cars instead of houses. My favorite costume of the night were two friend who came dressed up as the "Ganelle Fan Club." What did they wear? Nothing special, but they each had a Route 44 Sonic drink in their hands. Love it!

While carving pumpkins, BB#1 said "This is so much fun, we should carve ALL our vegetables!" Hmm. Carved cucumbers???

And of course the class party and parade.

BB#2 handed out mini-Crunch bars to the kids in his class. He got a real kick out of it - even when the kids chased him around, pretended to eat him, or offered to buy him.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Twelve is a big deal birthday in our family. Mostly because it is when the kids leave the children's program at church and enter into the youth program. It also is the age when boys are ordained into the priesthood. And yesterday, on Halloween, Big Boy #1 was ordained as a Deacon.

There is something breathtaking in seeing my young son literally encircled by these men who care for him, want him to be successful and are such great examples of strong, loving, good men. What an amazing thing.

BB#1 has been so excited to start going to Young Mens. He has a whole list of things he's excited about with turning 12; getting the priesthood, passing the sacrament, going to the temple. It's been such a payoff for me to see him genuinely anxious to progress in those ways.

Of course this birthday isn't all about the spiritual realm. He also finally got his I-Pod Touch, which he has been working towards and saving up for for several months. Big Boy #2 gave him a year supply of gum and made up a little Easter-like "gum hunt" for him.

The Caboose found a favorite toy in the basement, wrapped it up like new and gave that to BB#1 as a gift. BB#1 was a great sport about it all. :)

Of course there was dinner at Red Robbin and cake and ice cream. It was a great birthday.

BB#1 is a bright, inquisitive person. He is beyond curious about everything. He is a hard worker and I hardly ever have to tell him to get his homework done. (Although practicing his guitar is another story...) He is funny, tender-hearted and thoughtful. He loves just about every sport, but baseball and basketball are his favorites. His favorite subjects are math, social studies and drama. He's a great kid and we are so glad that he is part of our family!