Thursday, December 24, 2009

Arise and Shine Forth, one of my favorite Christmas Songs.

He did not come in glory when He first came to earth
And most the world ignored His humble birth.
But the heavens were singing in celestial harmonies,
And a star guided some souls to their knees;
Those with ears to hear and eyes to see.

And the miracles followed, but the skeptics believed
They were lies spread by those who'd been deceived.
With their appetite for power, they mocked every word He said,
While the ones truly hungering He fed;
Those who hungered after righteousness he fed.

And the light that He gave was to lift and to save
And the burdens that He came to bear are the ones we can't carry and need to share

I give thanks for His sweetness; I have faith in His power,
And I know He'll strive with me every hour.
For He suffered in darkness, kneeling in Gethsemane,
So the light of His love could shine on me;
So the light of His love could shine through me.

Arise! Sisters, arise!

Arise and shine forth, let us add to the flame
That burns brightly in hearts that bear His name.
And the torch that's a standard for the nations all to see
Is the light of the world shining through me.

We are standing for something, prayerful in all things, comforting those that mourn.
We are gathering Zion, we can rely on this refuge from the storm
We are strengthened on every side in the light we cannot hide
We are united, spirits ignited, feeling the fire inside.

Arise and shine forth, and we'll add to the flame
That burns brightly in hearts that bear His name.
And this torch that's a standard for the nations all to see
Is the light of the world that shines in you and me;
It's the light of the world shining through me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Loss, Chrstmas tough time of year...

This time of year is a bit tough for me and very emotional. The memories all came flooding back yesterday as I got a tough call from my mom yesterday, Sunday December 20th. I had just gotten home from church and my mom called, asked where I was and what I was doing. I was at home, getting ready to wrap some presents. At that moment my mom said, I have some tough news to tell you... Matthew Quayle passed away last night. I grew up with Matt, he was like my younger brother. His older sister Meisha is my best friend. We have known each other since I was a toddler. Meisha and I would get the same things for Christmas, matching outfits in Kindergarten. Matt and my younger brother were good friends as well. I remember one Christmas when Matt bit me in the back and got spanked by his dad all the way down the hall. The summer's where we teamed up and Meisha and I would hide in the house and lock all of the doors and Matt and Chad would have to find a way into the house, the trips to Lagoon, Raging Waters and the Homestead... Matt you will be missed.

Why is this time of year tough... It all began on December 10, 2002 when my best friend Meisha was killed in Washington State. That year I got the most beautiful Christmas card with a boondoggle lizard, that she had made. I still have it. On January 6, 2003 my Grandma Carroll passed away. This was expected, but it didn't make it any easier. On December 23, 2004 my Grandpa Carroll passed away. He was buried on December 27th. My dad told my mom he was filing for divorce on January 4, 2005, 7 days after her father was buried and now Matt passing away December 19, 2009.

Yes thi is a very tough time of year, but also a glorious time of year where we get to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, who has made it possible by his life for me to see my loved ones that have passed on again.

Please remember the reason for the season.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Women have strengths that amaze men...

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
And laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in..
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart..
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.

Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why Women Shouldn't Take Men Shopping


After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samuel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are
documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1.June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2.July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3.July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4.July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5.August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6.August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7.August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8.August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

9.September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10.September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11.October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.

12.October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

13.October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14.October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but certainly not least:

15.October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.

Monday, December 7, 2009


During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was
using the following password:


Keep reading! . . . . . . .

When asked why such a long password, she said she was told that
it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Fall!

A woman was asked by a coworker,
'What is it like to be a Christian?'

The coworker replied, 'It is like being a pumpkin.'
God picks you from the patch, brings you in,
and washes all the dirt off of you..
Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.

He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.

Then He carves you a new smiling face and
puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How to Stay Young


1. Throw out nonessential numbers.. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them'

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Worry about nothing, Pray about everything.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ABC's of Anna

ABC's of Anna....

OK... My friend Katie did this and I was bored so I thought... Why not?!?!?
A- Available/Married? Available
B - Best Friend? My Savior
C - Cake or Pie? Pie... Pie!
D - Drink of Choice? Water
E - Essential item you use everyday? Toothpaste
F - Favorite Color? Yellow
G - Gummy Bears or Worms? Gummy Bears covered in Chocolate
H - Hometown? Twin Falls Idaho and Salt Lake
I - Indulgence? Ice Cream
J - January or February? January
K - Kids and their names? None of my own yet, but I consider all of my dancers to be my kids and Michael and Sabrina
L- Life is incomplete without? My Savior
M - Marriage Date? wish I new
N- Number of Siblings? 2-Eric and Chad
O - Oranges or Apples? Apples
P - Phobia's/ Fears? dying alone
Q- Quote you love? Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments taht take away your breath away.
R - Reason to smile? Life
S - Season? SUMMER, the warmer the better.
T - Tag 3 People? Whoever reads this and wants to but let me know so I can read it!
U - Ultimate vacation? Europe, there is still so much to see
V - Vegetable you don't like? Brussel Sprouts
W - Worst habit? Putting myself down
X-rays you've had? Feet, ankles and wrist
Y - Your favorite food? SUSHI!!!
Z- Zodiac Sign? Pisces

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pictures from Mannheim & Wurstmarkt Germany September 11-12, 2009

Mannheim Germany September 11-12, 2009

So my last two days in Germany, we decided to stay close to home, just walking and shopping around Mannheim. I bought a lovely purple sweater,as we are going into winter. Purple is a very popular color in Europe. I would say probably the most popular color all of the stores have loads of it. I ate Gelato these last two days. It is so delicious. On Saturday we also headed to a Wurstmarkt or wine fest. This is where there are loads of booths with the new wines for the year. Chad and I headed over there and met his roommate, Chris and some fellow Servicemen that are stationed in Germany. What a crazy place to be. There were all sorts of games and rides and I had the best grape juice, fresh, I have ever had and the bratwursts... Yummy! It was packed, reminded me a bit of the Twin Falls County Fair when I was younger. We also visited the Jeusowitz church, which is gorgeous, almost to the extent of the Cathedrals.

I was sad to realize that I was almost on my way home. I could live and work in Germany. If I had to choose one of the cities to live in that I visited, I would say Mannheim. It felt like home, I loved walking everywhere and the views and the 5 H&M stores in the city. I can't wait to head back over the Europe and see even more!

Frankfurt Shopping! 9-10-2009

So more adventures in Germany! Thursday, September 10, 2009 Chad and I headed to the train station to head over to Frankfurt. It was fun to be ableto ride on one of the fast trains. I must admit, Europe has the mass transit figured out and the freeway system. It is often heard that there is no speed limit on the autoban, but that is false. There are portions of the autoban that do have speed limits, very similar to ours here in the US, however there are sections that are speed free, we went around 130 MPH at those points. The autoban is 2 lanes in each direction and you stay to the right, unless you are passing. The Europeans follow that and are very polite drivers. The use their signals, they let you merge... I did not see one accident on the autoban in the 12 days I was there, much different to the daily accidents I see here.

Anyway, Frankfurt to me looked and seemed like the typical larger city. I must admit that the cathedrals and the history is very impressive. My goal in Frankfurt was to locate a Birkenstock store! That mission was sucessful. I bought 2 pair of birkenstocks for a little more than I would have spent on one pair here. One of the pairs I bought were 30 Euros, which is about $42, that pair here in the US would have run me $100, talk about deal! I finally disgarded my pair of birkenstocks that I bought in when I was 12, 21 years ago. What a deal! Wahoo. Yes I will admit I love shoes and expecially Birkenstocks. They are so comfortable. After walking around Frankfurt, seeing the cathedrals and the opera house, it was back to Mannheim for Dinner at Vapianos... I was craving a salad, needing vegetables, so I ordered what I thought was a salad with Mozzerella and Tomatoes... come to find out, that is all it was... no lettuce or anything... I ended up munching on it and then eating a slice of my brothers pizza...which I must add was amazing and not full of oil and such. What a fun day, I am glad that I was able to visit Frankfurt, but it is definitely not the city I would choose to live in if I lived in Europe.

Picture from Frankfurt, Germany Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Where I hiked in the Swiss Alps September 8, 2009

Words can not describe the beauty of the Swiss Alps. I can say after hiking for approximately 8 hours, my feet were killing me and I had 4 blisters. I wouldn't trade any one of them for the views I saw.

We began our day from our 'hotel' in Lauterbrunnen and hiking to Wengen. This was a tough, the toughest section of the day, all up hill for about an hour and a half... I thought I was in shape, but I am not. We hit Wengen and decided to take the tram to Mannlichen. The tram went straight up the mountain. From Mannlichen we hiked to Klein Scheidegg and had lunch there. From there we hiked back down to Wengen and then took the train back to Lauterbrunnen. This section is the Junfrau region. I am guessing we hiked about 14 KM, which is about 22 miles. The hills are gorgeous. We got to hike thru a pasture, right past the cows, all of which do where the swiss cow bells making the hills alive with music. What an experience. I can't wait to head back to Switerland. After hiking all day, we headed into Interlaken to meet a very dear friend, Rebecca Titz, who lives in Zurich. She took a 2 hour train ride just to meet us for dinner. It was so great to see her. I last saw her in the spring. After dinnner it was back to Lauterbrunnen for a good nights sleep!

Hiking The Swiss Alps, September 8, 2009

September 7, 2009: Basal and Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

The drive from Mannheim, Germany to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (where we were staying) was only a 4 hour drive. We left Mannheim around 6:00 AM... really early. You would never know that we were only going for 3 days by the way my younger brother, Chad, packed... As compared to the one small backpack I took...
We did stop in Basal Switzerland for breakfast and to walk around for a bit. First stop was a bank so that we could all get the Swiss Francs. Everyone pays cash for everything in Europe, which I thought was great. There are ATM's everywhere. While in Basal we stopped at the Raushaus, which is similar to the city hall. Also know as the Red House or the Rat's House. I personally think Rat's House fits very well for politicians. hee hee hee. We also visited an amazing Cathedral where we were able to climb up the bell tower and over look the entire city. We climbed up over the bell as well. The church has a gorgeous and very unique patter on the roof. I believe it was the Rhein River that ran thru Basal. We finally arrived in Lauterbrunnen about 2:00, and couldn't check in to our room until 3:00, so after parking the car we walked to a cafe to have lunch. I was amazed at our room, absolutely cute and darling...It was probably a 9 x 9 room with 2 sets of bunk beds, that were not a full size twin. My feet hung off the end and I am only 5'9. There was also a small shelving/closet unit and a tiny desk. This little room was quite pricey as well, almost $200 a night, but worth every penney. It had a communal bathroom, including showers. I felt like I was staying in the dorms again. I also had to pay for hot water in the showers. It was half a franc for 4 minutes of hot water (about $0.50) and again after hiking around, worth every franc. After checking in, we off to walk to Trummelbach Falls. The waterfalls drain the water of Eiger, Monk, and Jungfrau glaciers ... over 20,000 liters of water flow from the waterfalls per second ... and the waterfalls are the only glacier-waterfalls in Europe that run inside a mountain and are still accessible. We had to take a lift inside the mountain ... very similar to a mine shaft to reach the middle of the waterfalls ... then we were able to hike around tunnels to see different sections of the waterfalls. It was really really cool. After the supposed 20 minute walk, according to the desk agent at the hotel, which actually took 2 hours round trip, we headed to Interlaken for dinner. On the walk back, we discovered a playground, which the boys enjoyed immensely. Dinner in Interlaken was fantastic. What an exhausting day! But worth every minute. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous!

Trummelbrach Falls, Lauterbrunnen Switzerland, September 7, 2009

Basal, Switzerland September 7, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Speyer Germany Sunday September 6, 2009

Day 3: Heidelberg, Germany

What a gorgeous city! On Saturday September 5, 2009 it was off to Heidelberg via train! Heidelberg also has a great shopping street that I loved walking as we headed to the Heidelberg Schloss (Castle), a definite landmark. The castle is amazing, what a structure. There was several very large vats of Wine and a gorgeous garden. The garden is the perfect place to take a blanket, a picnic, a good book and good company. While were were there there were several brides. I must admit it would be a cool place for bridals, a wedding reception and to get engaged... Very romantic. The pictures do not do it justice at all. On the shopping street, I picked up a book about Germany, a watch, a carving of the castle, postcards and a small bag.

Lunch was eaten at Vetter's in Heidelberg. It is a Brewery that brews 33% beer, which is huge compared to Utah's 3% beer. Vetter's is where I ate my first traditional german meal... Brautwurst and Sauerkraut and the american Diet Coke. A glass of water was just as expensive as diet coke, so I had the soda.

Saturday night, my younger brother had decided to have some of his church friends over for a small party. It was great fun to meet some more of Chadder's friends. We ate and watched Hitch. After Hitch the decision was made to watch a scary movie, so in went The Grudge 2, which was perfect. Chad had cracked his balcony door and then excused himself. At the most perfect point in the movie Chad snuck out on the balcony from the other bedroom and he hit the door into the living room, those on the couch all screamed and jumped. It was so funny.

Heidelberg Germany, 9-5-2009

Mannheim, Germany September 4, 2009

So... Day 2 in Germany and it was decided to stay in Mannheim for the day, which is where Chad lives. What a great little city. We visited the Marktplatz, the Water Tower (Am Wasserturm), The Paradeplatz, the Schloss which was turned into a Universitat, and the Hauptbahnhof (the train station). In Mannheim they have a fairly large shopping section of which had several H&M's Stores, a WoolWorths, Markets... Wow. Chad wanted me to familarize myself with downtown so that the days he had to go into work I could head downtown and shop... I have to admit it was a bit confusing, I had no idea what was east or west or north or south and living in Utah that is a bit of a challenge. Their downtown is done on the grid system, but it is different. It is a letter number system. Each block was a letter and each space/business was a number. For example the sushi restaurant we ate dinner at was at Q12 downtown. On our way into town we stopped and ate breakfast at a little card called Cafe Fellows. I had the best bagel I have ever eaten. It was great to just sit and eat and relax. There was no hurry at all. I was amazed at how everyone smokes over there. The cafe had a nice none smoking section and a smoking section as well as outdoor seating. Fun little tables, chairs and couches gave it a homey feeling. After touring the city and doing a bit of shopping, buying sunglasses and Chad buying a cell phone cover and an aweseom ring, we just walked and walked and walked. I love that aspect. They have an amazing public transportation system and everyone walks. Honeslty in the 12 days I was there I think I saw maybe 4 or 5 obese people, everyone else was slender. Friday night it was off to sushi, my favorite food. I was honestly amazed that my younger brother would eat sushi. Growing up all he would eat was applesauce and Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches... then here he is enjoying raw fish and seaweed with me. We met some of his friends for dinner. I enjoyed their company, but it was strange not being able to understand much of what was being said, due to my lack of understanding of German. I have decided it would be beneficial to take a german class before I go back to visit again. Friday night I crashed again after a day out on the town. I fell asleep watching Mamma Mia on the couch. Enjoy the pics!

Pictures from Mannheim Germany Friday September 4, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wurzberg, Germany Slideshow!

Wurzberg Germany and the flight over...

I recently had the opporunity to travel to Germany to visit my younger brother. I flew out of Salt Lake City on Wednesday September 2nd. The flight from SLC to NYC (JFK) was smooth and relaxing, I had the time to read a Mary Higgins Clark book. On the flight from NYC to Frankfurt was a different story. I had taken some dramamine, the drowsy kind, with me so that I could sleep on the 8 hour flight, knowing that I would not sleep when I arrived in Germany. So after dinner on the flight I took my dramamine and put the headphones to sleep. Not ever 20 minutes later we hit turbulance, and not minor turbulance. The plane all of a sudden took about a 45 degree dive to the left. Had I not had my seatbelt on I would have been ended up in another seat. The pilot immediately came on the intercom and told everyone to sit down and buckle up. I honestly thought we were going down. I began the "death bed" repentance and began being very grateful that I knew how to swim and that my seat cushion was a floatation device because we were over the Atlantic. The turbulance went on for about an hour and much for sleeping. I arrived in Frankfurt at 9:00 AM, after 18 hours spent in airports and in the air! It was all worth it. After picking up my luggage, and meeting my brother, we were off to Wurzberg (I didn't even get to shower, oh well. My brother took me to see the Bishops Residenz, what a gorgeous building. We took a tour of it and then walked around the gardens. We also walked thru the town and ate at an absolutely darling and tasty cafe. I learned that a Diet Coke is a cola light... ina cola light grosse is a large diet coke... That phrase came in handy. It was strange to me because I would hear the german and not understand, but I would think in spanish... It was great going out for meals there, because you were never rushed thru a meal. I loved that. We headed back to Mannheim that evening, just in time for a bit of rush hour. I was exhausted but so glad to be visiting my brother. It was great and smart for my brother to not let me sleep. It helped with the jet lag and sleeping amazingly well that first night.

My brother's apartment is great. I was amazed to learn that when you move into an apartment there it is an empty shell. When my brother moved in he had to put in all of the light fixtures, the kitchen cupboards and everything. There was nothing there. Literally when you move out you take everything with you including the kitchen sink...

Emjoy the picutures... more stories to come...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What a weekend, Friday First...

So this is going to be a multiple post, the weekend was jammed pack with fun that must be shared!

I had to opportunity to spend some time with my dear friend Katie Cooper Christensen this weekend. Katie and I have known each other for 13 years now. Her sister and I were college roomies and she would come and hang with us on the weekends! Ahh the memeories of the 90's... :)

So Katie came up this weekend and I had the opportunity to meet her little one, Cooper, who will be 3 in a few months. What an absolute doll. Katie, Cooper and I met up with Jill and Lucy at the Aquarium in Sandy. It was great, none of us had ever been there. So Cooper was a bit shy at first, he didn't understand that the fish were behind glass and not able to 'get' him. Finally he starts to feel safe and he gets down by the Sting Ray's, where you can pet them. He is doing great, until the shark tank... dun dun dun... I am holding him and a shark swims past the glass and he is fine, all of a sudden a shark swims right up against the glass with it's mouth right there by Cooper's sweet little face. That starts it all, the scream and the tears.. The 3 adults think it is so cute and funny, so Katie pulls out the camera and starts taking pictures... He eventually calms down, but will no longer walk nor let go of Katie... Too cute.

After we dropped Cooper off with his dad, Katie and I headed to the apartment, then off to dinner at TGI Friday's, the steak was fantastic!!! Then home to watch a movie, you know it was a musical! Mamma Mia! I must admit it was nice to not watch the musical by myself! Someone else was there to sing with me! Wahoo, Thanks Katie!

While deciding where to eat, I sent a text to my dear friend Kevin, who works at a restaurant, to see if he was working... He wasn't :(, but in the conversation he asked if I would be interested in taking a ballroom class with him... Hello, of course I would, I have been trying to take a ballroom class for several years, but couldn't ever comvince anyone to be my partner to take it with me... problem solved, Kevie and I are going to take a class! Wahoo. I haven't taken a ballroom class since my sophomore year of college. Can't wait to work and improve the skills!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Been awhile

The count down has started. I am just about to head to Europe in 3 and a half weeks! I am beyond excited to see a continent I have never been to and to spend time with my brother. So I will post after the trip with los of pictures.

On top of going to Europe, I recently received great news from my dear friend Katie Cooper Christensen! Katie is coming to visit me next weekend. I am so excited to have company.

I also had the opportunity to be reminded how amazing my friends are. So to my dear Friends, Thank you so much for your love and support over this last week and especically these last 2 days! I truly appreciate you and all you do for me.

I also had a nice experience last Sunday Morning... I woke up, headed out to my kitchen, only to step into a puddle of water. I first thought is was my dishwasher leaking, until I opened the door to my laundry room, which also had a bit of water on the floor. So I found the leak, got the hot water shut off, as that is where the leak was, dried off the floor, pulled the washer out and there it was... Mold growing on my wall. Apparently the leak had been leaking for quite some time. I assume for about 3 months as that is when I got my washer and dryer. However Saturday evening was the first time I had ever washed anything in HOT, hence the larger leak. I placed a call to my apartment office to cleam up the mold. After all, before we can use our washer the maintenence staff must check all connections.. Apparently they didn't check them well enough. At least they have now taken care of it. Ironically over the last little while I had noticed a smell in my apartment, so I would take out the garbage, put orange peels down my garbage disposal, trying to decide what the smell was. Well now I was mold. I am glad that I knew how to shut off the water and glad I have tools to do so...

So that is the adventure of the week. I am looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil;without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl . Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak The egg had been fragile.Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the neat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nails in the Fence


Make sure you read all the way down to the last sentence.

(Most importantly the last sentence)

There once was a little boy who had a bad
temper . His Father gave him a bag of nails
and told him that every time he lost his
temper , he must hammer a nail into the back
of the fence. The first day the boy had
driven 37 nails into the fence Over the next
next few weeks, as he learned to control his
anger, the number of nails hammered daily
gradually dwindled down. He discovered
it was easier to hold his temper than to
drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't
lose his temper at all. He told his father
about it and the father suggested that the
boy now pull out one nail for each day that
he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally
able to tell his father that all the nails
were gone. The father took his son by the
hand and led him to the fence He said, 'You
have done well, my son, but look at the
holes in the fence. The fence will never be
the same. When you say things in anger,
they leave a scar just like this one. You
can put a knife in a man and draw it out.
It won't matter how many times you say I'm
sorry , the wound is still there. ' A verbal
wound is as bad as a physical one.

Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They
make you smile and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear, they share words of praise
and they always want to open their hearts to us.'


Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your fence.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Roller Coaster

I figured it was time to actually blog about life. Perhaps I have been facing some of the truths about life. It has definitely been an adventure for quite some time, it has been a roller coaster ride for over a year now... I have learned more lessons than I even imagined would be possible. I am amazed at the ability of the human heart, body, spirit..emotions to recover and then crash again and then recover.. just like a massive roller coaster. I went from having parents that were still married, and being very happily married myself, to having my marriage fail, to being divorced, still loving my Ex, my in-laws and my step kids, to attempting to move on and pretend to be happy, finding other things to fill my time with. I even attempted to run away from life and start over in Cedar City. I was so looking forward to going back to the town where I attended college and have some of the best memories and friends of my life. Thru all of the challenges over the past few years, I am amazed at the amazing support system I have. I love that I don't have to say a word to my friends, but they are so intune with the spirit and with me that they just know when I am struggling. I am also grateful for my amazing family, who have stood by my side thru all of life. I am grateful for my Savior and what he has done for me. I love the poem "Footprints in the Sand". I can honestly say I have felt my Savior carrying me a lot of the time over the last while.

Have you ever noticed that just when you think you have things figured out, a curve ball is thrown at you? I think this is to make us stronger. I am grateful for challenges in life that shape us into the person that our Heavenly Father wants us to be and knows that we can be.

I am amazed at the blessings that also come thru trials. I have 2 amazing jobs, one that pays the bills and another that allows me to share my love of dance with many amazing girls. I am blessed to have a place to call home, an amazing family, and friends, enough food...

I am grateful for all that I have and for everyone that is a part of my life. You are all very imporant to me! Thanks for everything!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

To Those of You Born Between 1930 and 1979

1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or
drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can
and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in
baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors
or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps
not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats,
no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and
sometimes no brakes

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always
a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and
no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.. We drank
Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't
overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as
we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and
then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the
brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned
to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There
were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies
or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal
computers, no Internet and no chat room

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there
were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games
with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it
would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the
door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those
who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was
unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,
problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we
learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck
to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government
regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know
how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors,
doesn't it ?
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides,
flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one
end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist
attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the
Pledge of Allegiance?'

Thursday, April 9, 2009



I grew up with practical parents who had been frightened by the Great Depression. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a Name for it.... A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. It was the time for fixing things; a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that repairing, eating, reusing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer 's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that maybe 'keeping' wasn't to be scorned because sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away....never to return. So... while we have it.... it's best we love it... And care for it.... And fix it when it's broken...... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true.... For marriage.... And old cars..... And children with bad report cards..... And dogs and cats with bad hips .... And aging parents.... And grandparents....And friends ....We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special... And so, keep them close!

Good friends are like stars.... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Keep them close.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lesson Learned from Clay Balls

A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock . Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.
Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. May we not ome to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tender Mercies...

"We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

-- David A. Bednar,"The Tender Mercies of the Lord"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cedar City

I love Cedar City! I had a great opportunity to return to Cedar last weekend (February 20-22). It was dance placement and scholarship auditions at SUU, so I took one of my students, Camille Anthian, to audition. We headed for Cedar City after ballet class on Friday evening, after stopping to grab some dinner at Subway. We drove straight thru only stopping at Walmart in Cedar to get breakfast food before heading to Kay's, where we were staying. I haven't seen Kay for years, but it was as though we had never been apart. It was very strange pulling into Cedar, I felt as though I had returned home. It was the best, most peaseful feeling.

We got to kay's house about 10:00 PM and ther he was to great us with the sad news that Larry H Miller had passed away. Kay had a performance of Coppelia that night and was still in his make-up... But it was just like old times...
Camille was exhausted, so she crashed and Kay and I sat up and chatted, caught up on the last several years, reminsced about the crazy days. Saturday was auditions for Camille, so I dropped her off at SUU about 9:30, and I ran in to say HI to all of my former professors. It was great to see Shauna and chat with her about life and some of my desires. During auditions I headed over the Christensens, my second favorite store to shop at. My first favorite is H&M. The auditions went amazingly well! I am so happy for Camille! After auditions I walked Camille around the campus, gave her a bit of a tour. What a gorgeous campus. While walking around I ran into a couple of individuals that I worked with while I was working with the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It was gerat to chat with Jill and Scott. After the campus tour, it was time to eat... and where better to go than La Fiesta, my favorite restaurant in Cedar City. I had to introduce Camille to it, especially if she is going to school in Cedar!

Saturday evening Camille and I headed to the Heritage Theater to see Coppelia performed by the Cedar City Junior Ballet, and Kay of course. I was very impressed with the ballet. The Heritage Theater is new the Cedar City and it was a gorgeous theater and huge. There were several in the ballet that I went to school with, so it was great to see them and watch them dance again. There were also several in the audience that graduated with me as well. So it was a great time to have a bit of a reunion. Fun to see where everyone is and has ended up. I also ran into Fred Adams, the founder of the Shakespearean Festival. He is always a joy to talk with.

Sunday, it was time head back to Salt Lake City. I was sad to be leaving Cedar, but Camille had school on Monday and I had work :( Kay had early church and we had to hit the road to get back. Yes, Camille and I are still in our jammies and Kay is ready for church. So off Kay went and we packed the car and hit the road.

I really wanted to just stay there. Life in Cedar feels so much more peaceful and calm.. Oh well. Back to SLC for now. I am heading back to Cedar the weekend of March 7th for a Dance Department Reunion. So Look out Cedar, I am coming back!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something to think about...

``If you think you can, you can. If you think you can`t, you`re right.`` Mary Kay Ash

``The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.`` Benjamin Mays

``Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. `` Cal Schurz

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Live and Learn...

Where is this year, 2009, going? I am amazed that February began today. Life has been just grand. I fell like I worked the month of January away, but I am grateful for that, because it means that I have a job, that I have to abiity to work. I work with amazing people. Auditions were held on Saturday, January 24th for Sleeping Beauty, the ballet. I was very happy with the turn out. It was difficult deciding which dancer would be best for each part. But the casing list went up on Monday and rehearsals began on Friday. I must admit it was nice to have something to do Friday night. We learned almost the entire first act on Friday. It will again be a beautiful ballet performed in March.

I am ready for spring and even summer. I am a much larger fan of the warm weather and spring rain storms than the snow.

Not much has happened this year, which is actually kind of nice. Last year was a very tough and emotional year. I don't think I could handle another year like last year. This year has been a bit rough as well, especially lately. But I have to keep plugging along. Life is what you make of it after all. Everyone will face challenges and it how each decides to over come those challenges that is important. I am trying to take each challenge, heart break and struggle with stride. I will admit that it is not easy, but apparently there are lessons to learn and thru these experiences I will learn the lessons I need to. I hope and pray that I learn the lessons needed so that I don't have similar experiences again. I was reminded this week that everyone makes mistakes. One important thing to remember is to learn from each mistake and not repeat that mistake again. LIVING AND LEARNING!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


"Don’t be discouraged by failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, a highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid." John Keats

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Experiment: What Are We Missing Out On?

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Kevin Dolce

Friday, January 9, 2009

Recipe for a Good New Year!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to__________ today. I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for__________. Today I accomplished_________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it.