BEGIN AGAIN

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I am seriously malfunctioning as a blogger. I know only enough to get myself into trouble. I thought jazzing up my blog would be fun, be unique, find a different template than the norm. And so I did it and guess what?!?! I messed the template up beyond my ability to repair it. I mean, I know it can be repaired, but this is where my knowledge is only good enough to get me in trouble. So, I am starting a new blog. Fresh, where I will leave well enough alone.


So, come join me at my new address: patty-joyinthejourney.blogspot.com

But this one will remain, if you want to revisit old posts. Like visiting an old friend........

ORGANIZED CHAOS AND DING DONG, WRESTLING SEASON IS OVER!

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So here is what we spent this Saturday doing. It started with Tim's alarm not going off at 4:15 AM. Fortunately, Bailey needed to go out at 5:15 so when Tim let her out, he realized we were an hour late getting up and Brandon missed his carpool to Cottonwood for the Freshman State Wrestling Tournament. Had she not woken us, we may have still been snoozing way past too late to get him there. We had planned to go all along, but our plan had been to go later since they did not start the wrestling until 10:00 AM. But he had to get registered no later than 8 AM and since the tournament was two hours away and since he missed his ride, off we were in the car, with MY hair gone wild. (no time for fixing) It was tense moments as we drove, hoping we would make it in time for registration. Whew, we did it!
All that tension must have been good for him. He was able to win all his matches, pinning two of his opponents, and took first place in his weight bracket for the Freshman "state" tournament!
And his friend Gideon placed third so there were congratulations all around!
And now the season is over for another year.
Anyone as excited as me?

BRANDON AND RANDOM

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This is Brandon, at one of his wrestling meets, waiting for his match.
See how he is preparing? He is trying out his "tough-guy", don't-mess-with-me look. By the way, he pinned his guy in the first period. Happened so fast I didn't get a picture. Guess the look worked.

He developed that wrestling around with Cameron. Who, by the way, we recently discovered has been caught up with in the growing department!
And the randomness of doing absolutely nothing but occasionally moving about the kitchen one lazy weekend afternoon.



THE ERRAND OF ANGELS

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Yesterday the topic in our Relief Society meeting was one on "the ministering of angels". I am a firm believer that there are angels among us, both of the more heavenly nature as well as angels in our everyday lives as people live close to God and listen to the promptings that encourage them to reach out to help others, sometimes even when they don't know how much they really are needed. We listened to many stories of women yesterday, right in my own ward boundaries, who had been recipients of wonderful neighbors and friends that were "there" just when they needed them, often times not even knowing why they were there when that thought came into their head. Sometimes they are not even aware of the impact that they have had on others because it was not obvious nor ever told to them.

I remember a time during the 9/11 terrorist attack, when airplanes had to be taken down from the sky for a day or two or more. At the time, my sister was living in CA and I in AZ. A sweet little grandma she knew in CA had been back East to visit family and was in the sky when the attacks happened. Her plane had to be grounded in St. Louis. She was travelling all alone and in a city where she knew no one. A daughter of hers in CA knew my sister, Sharon, was from St Louis originally and wondered if she knew of anyone there that could help this poor woman. Sharon had not lived in St. Louis in nearly 20 years and so she did not know but called me in AZ, having recently moved from there just three years prior, and asked who I knew. And I knew just the person. My dear friend Billie Johns was still in St. Louis and I knew she would pick this lady up from the airport and take her home and take care of her until the time came that she could finish her trip home. And so she did just that! And Billie and her new friend from CA enjoyed a few days together and are now fast friends. What a wonderful angel this grandma was sent in her time of need.

And so that brings me to my thoughts today as I am grateful for the angels who took my son and his mission companion to the grocery store, stocked them up on food, a whole LOT of food, $360 worth of food for just two guys!! And his wife took their suits and pants and shirts in to be dry cleaned for them! Since these young men live on a pittance as they go out to preach the gospel, this was a wonderful blessing in their lives to have some of their temporal needs relieved for them. And as a mom of one of these boys, I am grateful to know that though they are away, they are being watched out for and that a loving Heavenly Father never forgets them.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FIRSTBORN

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Happy 21st Birthday to Chris. While he is away in Tennessee, we did not get to celebrate in person, but in spirit! This one is for you, Chris, and all you are doing out there in your service to the Lord! We love and miss you, lots!

PUZZLING.........

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A winter past time in our family is building jigsaw puzzles.

We usually get at least one new one for Christmas.

This one was 1500 pieces; a piece of cake, right?


Until we had to do the lower part of sunflowers and leaves.

A royal nightmare! But Cameron finished that part up and put in the final piece today!
Dare we do another, or save it for next winter?

Perhaps They Were Right

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So, the Arizona Cardinals have done it! They have managed to get themselves into the Superbowl. I will admit to lacking a whole lot of football interest, and most especially in regards to the AZ Cardinals, but I have my reasons.
I am not sure the reason for while the original Cardinals, based out of Chicago, moved to St. Louis. It is usually about money, track record, and a stadium. But I do know that while football in general is a great pastime in St. Louis, baseball Cardinals were really the more popular team to root for. The football Cardinals shared Busch stadium with the baseball Cardinals and perhaps they felt they did not get enough of the limelight?!?!? I really don't know the answer to that but for years in St Louis, they asked for their own stadium. Over and over again, season after season. Sharing, apparently, is hard for football players. They never got their stadium in St. Louis. But maybe a better track record might have rallied more enthusiasm.
At any rate, the football Cardinals "left the building" so to speak and headed south for the winter, or perhaps, many winters, and became the Arizona Cardinals. I am not sure if they were missed by more than a handful, though my friend Pam, having been baptized by one of the players at the time, may have missed one in particular! Nevertheless, fast forward a few years and our family moves to Arizona and reunites with the Cardinal football team, still begging for a stadium of their own. And as things would be, they were no longer sharing with a professional baseball team for their stadium but had reduced to sharing their field with a college team! How low can you go?
Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, a new football team was gained. Football fans could hardly bear being without. And so the LA Rams became the St. Louis Rams and guess what? The taxpayers of the city agreed to help fund a new stadium for our new team! Ha! And soon after, they won the Superbowl!!! Maybe the Stadium WAS the problem!
And thus we see here, a 60+ year track record of no playoffs and Superbowls and finally Phoenix builds the Cards a stadium, and we are going to the Superbowl!!! I do think there is something to that Stadium theory and if you build it, they will win!!!!!

Monday Blues......

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I love Sundays. They are a day of worship and a day to forget the cares of the rest of the week. That is how we handle them in our house, relaxing after church and not worrying about the dishes so much, lazy meals, reminders to email Chris, board games, puzzles and general family silliness. I really like Sundays, except for the fact that the next day means Monday.

For some reason, Mondays have a bad rap. But they earn it in our house. Besides back to school and back to work, there are dishes and laundry that somehow managed to pile up on Sunday and now we have to face it all. Usually I am headed to work on Monday morning so there is often a scramble to throw some things in the dishwasher and get it running before heading off to work. When I return home, there are usually more things to organize and clear up. It is kind of a Sunday hangover thing. While we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of Sunday, the piper must be paid.

Today I am home on Monday. It is holiday. While our work place is open, it is also payroll Monday. But, since it is a holiday for some businesses, payroll cannot be done. Banks are closed. And so, payroll has to be done tomorrow instead. So, I am home today but will go in tomorrow, my usual day off, and do the payroll then. That means facing the Monday monster head on and digging in and getting some things done right away. But I am thinking of extending my Sunday a little longer and going and working on our family jigsaw puzzle...........................

Today will be sunny and 74 degrees.............

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But I am thinking about the rest of you.

video

My Laundry Room is Like Wal-Mart

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It is not because we roll back prices in there, or that everything in there is "made in America". Do they even say that anymore? Because I remember when Wal-Mart used to tout that as many items as they could carry were made in this great country of ours and then, when I would go there, I would never, ever find anything made in America! But, I digress. My laundry room reminds me of Wal-Mart for this reason:

Have you ever gone into a brand new Wal-mart? It is big, and clean, and shiny and most noticeable, ROOMY! But, as time rolls along, every spare square inch of space in that store starts to fill up with more and more merchandise until I start to wonder if anyone even bothered to measure the distance between stacks to make it wide enough for one, not two, simply ONE cart to fit through. My answer is often a resounding "NO" as I trek down the entire aisle to and back up the other side to get to the display I was trying to look at.

Before you know it, there is barely room for two strangers to pass in the night as we try to reach our shopping destination and the displays are stacked so tall that we cannot see over them to read the signs and figure out where we need to go. But, the good thing in that is that most Wal-Marts are designed similarly and if you shop there often enough, you have the layout memorized.
And so goes my laundry room. If it were not for a memorized layout, I think I would be in trouble navigating through all that has accumulated in there. And, yes, I do keep up with my laundry, mostly. It just so happens to be a catch all for everything else! Besides laundry there is my two weeks supply of water, food storage, the paper shredder, pool towels, board games, opened cans of paint (because the heat would ruin them in the garage) and every item of clean clothing that my children own since the dirty stuff gets washed, dried, hung or folded, yet never makes it down to the bedrooms! Who needs closets and dresser drawers. All the clothing they own is STILL in the laundry room. As time wears on, I find that the piles are taller and the walkway is narrower. Yes, reminds me of an aging Wal-Mart. When it happens to them, they just close shop and build a newer, more super-sized store! Do I need a new laundry room?

Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys

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Why did this tune strike me in the middle of church today? I assure you we don't sing that kind of music in church. I guess one of the speakers spoke of being in the rodeo. His wife also spoke of being in the rodeo. That is where they met. They are young things, just starting out. She said she could not imagine marrying into a family that did not like horses as she grew up on a ranch. So did he. They live nearby but that is because the city grew around their horse ranch and rodeo set-up, not the other way around.
What the subject of their talks was about was how we can become more Christlike in our lives. They spoke of our commitments to each other and to the Lord by our very actions, by seeking out the will of God, and bend our will to His and not try to force His to ours.
And when they were finished speaking, I realized that those "cowboys" knew a thing or two for their youth and had some pretty inspirational things to say, and it was a joy to see them starting their lives out together in the same saddle, each having the same goals that they can work to accomplish together. And that they were taking the steps they needed to stay strong in the Gospel, and with each other.
And I thought about how my own children were growing up so fast and in a matter of a few years, might be just like that newlywed couple and I thought that if they had things together as well as this couple seems to, then I would gladly be fine with them growing up to be cowboys!

Real Men don't wear Mantyhose!

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I am serious! Be a man! Why do men want to look like women? Why do women want to look like men? I am just not getting it when I see men with eyeliner, and make-up, and hair products, and now...................Mantyhose! Change the name so it feels more masculine perhaps??? Cameron and I had a good, looooooong laugh about this and now, whenever any man in my house decides something is hard, I am going to ask them if they need some mantyhose! Man-up!
I especially like this pair, don't you?



And did you hear about the 140 year old lobster that nearly got cooked for dinner? The restaurant that was going to serve him decided to free him into the wild to live out the remainder of his days. I want to know how they know how old he is AND is the cost of lobster going to go up again because someone has to be paid to figure out the age of each lobster they catch???????? What is this world coming to?

The Roll of the Dice and then a Prize!

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Bunco is a silly, skill-less game, but a whole lot of fun!

I used to belong to a Bunco group. You have to commit for a year. There are twelve players and so we played once a month, and each player took a turn to host the Bunco party at their house. We were responsible for serving a meal along with our game.

Our old year ended in September and when the new year came along, I bowed out of the commitment. Not because it was not a whole lot of fun, just because I thought I was going to start school. So, while I have not done that yet, I did put myself on the substitute list and yesterday they asked me to sub!

So I rejoined my former players and had a ball playing again last night.

That is where the brainlessness of the game comes in. Aside from needing to know how to keep count, this game of chance rather than skill allows you much more time to talk, laugh, and be silly. And silly we were! It is fun to be in that kind of atmosphere with fellow ward sisters. Their fun side is exposed. And so last night I won the most games and won this amazing prize.



And Leann was jealous because all she won were a pair of movie tickets when she could have had so much more fun with an animal fur robe! What a diva I am, don't you think?

Returns

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The month of returns is here.
We return from snowboarding, we return from California, and we return to work! Everyone else in this country was returning to wherever they had been over the holidays to head back to California. By the traffic, you would think EVERYONE lived in CA. Just heading to pick up Brandon, meeting only across the border in what we affectionately call Blight, CA, we found many more going West than East. That was good for our return home. The traffic on the I10 was heavy and forget about using the rest stop! You could be where you were headed long before you got through this line!

Notice, the men are all returning, easily but the women just stand in line and stand, and stand. Has no one learned how to design women's restrooms yet?? More stalls!!

Finally we pick up our offspring in Blythe, load up the pocket bike, full of gas! Nice smell! Drive home with windows cracked the whole way!

But, we are all safely home. We are grateful for that. We return to school and work and the next return???? You guessed it, tax return time! Ugghh!

I Tried Something New

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During the week between Christmas and the New Year, Cameron went to Utah to snowboard and Brandon went to California to hang out with his cousin, Alex. He loaded up the pocket bike and away we went. Tim and I had the whole week at home! We cleaned up the decorations and we cleaned the garages. We also enjoyed eating this:
Mmmm, California Pizza Kitchen. I had never eaten there. Worth it! I had the Thai chicken pizza, Tim had some kind of Canadian Bacon with pineapple on it. Delicious! We ate at Gecko Grill that week too! Don't tell the kids. We ate at all the places we like since we didn't have to pay for them! ha ha Is this what retirement will be like???

And So Begins 2009

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Two things I heard recently that I really appreciated:


An unexpected life is no less a life


and


After all you can do, grace comes.


Words to live by.


I am going to try, anyway.