Friday, September 30, 2016



Ha many times did I hear this as a child?  My Mom would say, "say it like you mean it"  I followed her example and said that to my kids and now I wonder if they say that to their kids.  Nothing is worse that a forced and insincere apology.  I found some great advice online. 

"Apologize when you've made a mistake. If you want your family or friends to trust you, then you can't act like you're flawless. If you know you've made a mistake, own up to it instead of being in denial. Though your family or friends won't be happy that you made a mistake, they'll be very pleased that you're mature and grounded enough to admit it instead of just pretending that nothing is wrong, or worse -- blaming it on someone else.

When you say sorry, you should mean it. Let your friends hear the sincerity in your voice instead of thinking that you don't really care how they feel."

- Words to live by -

Below is some spiritual enlightenment for your weekend.

Last week I got a visit from these two and their Dad, Mike. They came for my sister, Debbie's, funeral. Their big smiles make difficult times easier to bare. They have each grown at least a foot (little exaggeration) in the few months it's been since our last visit.  I love those big brown eyes!

Friday, September 9, 2016


My oldest sister, Debbie, is in trouble.  She had a stroke and may not recover. 

Above - Carol, Debbie, Me 

Although we haven't been close as adults, I love her. She bore the burden of being the oldest of seven children. I am sure that was not easy.  I am sure there were many expectations placed on her, being the first born to our then, teenage parents.  She took me to church, bought me school clothes, taught me about love and patience and made me feel safe.  

"My sister shares a part of me
that no one else shall ever see.
And when the days and miles divide us...
the bond we have will live inside us.
Together sharing dreams, love and laughter
My sister for always, my friend...forever after."

"Close to my heart, you'll always be.
Friends forever, My sister and me.

Below - Don't want to leave my beautiful and youngest sister, Nancy, out.  She was born way after the picture above was taken.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Years ago my son Scott mentioned that whenever my Grandson, Tanner, would get cranky in the car they would turn Coldplay on and it would soothe him.  This was when Tanner was a baby.  He’s not a baby anymore, he’s turning twelve years old in exactly thirteen days. 
When Tanner was about five years old, he was sitting at the kitchen counter visiting me while I made cookies.  This is something I’ve enjoyed about my Grandkids.  They all seem to congregate at the kitchen counter and watch me cook.  We were listening to my Pandora station and the song, The Scientist, by Coldplay came on and Tanner joined in the chorus in perfect pitch.  I tried not to bring attention to his singing for fear he get embarrassed and stop.  

Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start”

Whenever I hear that song it takes me back to that day.  I miss that adorable little boy with the big blue eyes and that huge smile.  He’s grown smart, tall and handsome.  He made me a Grandma for the first time. I’m so proud of you Tanner. I love you to the Moon and Back!  Three hand squeezes and three horn honks...(our secret code).

Friday, August 12, 2016


Carol and I with our Mom - 1994

Years ago I was required to go to a courthouse to pay a traffic ticket I had procrastinated about.  I was one of several people of all nationalities and color forced to wait my turn to see the judge.  We waited in a hall lined with benches.  I will never forget one lady there with a little boy about the age of two.  He was an adorable and very active little guy who gave everyone there a big smile.  She seemed very irritated with him not sitting completely still like she had sternly ordered him to do.  As she sat there and he ventured off his seat a few feet she would shout swear words and call him unspeakable names and tell him to sit his A** back down.  She showed him no love, dignity or patience.  

When I was about twelve or so, my sister Carol and I got a tape recorder from our parents for Christmas.  It was a hand me down tape recorder that belonged to my older brother and he didn't use it anymore. My Mom cleaned it up and there it was sitting under the tree on Christmas morning. My parents were broke, they had seven kids to provide Christmas for. I didn't understand much about that kind of stuff at the time. The stress and heartache my Mom had gone through to insure seven kids a fun Christmas must have been overwhelming.  

Carol and I were thrilled and we loved our present. We spent hours upon hours recording ourselves and others doing and saying silly stuff.  We even figured out how to speed up and play our goofy recordings to sound like the Chipmunks.   We'd turn the volume up loud and laugh and laugh.  It rates among one the best Christmas' ever.

We must have driven my poor Mom crazy for days with that tape recorder. We were asked multiple times to turn the volume down.  I remember being at the kitchen counter while she was fixing dinner and blasting the Chipmunk version of something I'd recorded.  She lost it.  In that moment she was out of control.  She grabbed me, yelled, slapped me and then said something that still rings in my ears....."I hate you".  I was devastated. She came to me moments later and said she was sorry, I could tell she'd been crying.  It was an ugly sliver of time that my Mom lost it and said something that should never have been said. 

I know beyond any doubt that my Mom loved me. Her kids were the world to her.  She sacrificed for all of her children in one way or another.  She did her best.  I am sure that my Mom was haunted by some of the things she did or didn't do as a Mom.  I know this because I am a Mom.  I am haunted by the same thing.  Aren't all Mom's human?  Don't we all have regret or sometimes want a do-over? Haven't we all had sleepless nights at the end of a tough day praying to do better tomorrow? 

May we all have the strength to think before we speak and control our anger. There are so many people that need a kind word from us instead of an angry reaction that causes their ears to sting and heart to feel heavy.  I know my Mom would have turned back time to take those words back if she could have.  We all make mistakes but lets do ourselves a favor and try harder. I love the inspirational words below that a Facebook friend shared with me.  Peace -

We are all susceptible to those feelings which, if left unchecked, can lead to anger. We experience displeasure or irritation or antagonism, and if we so choose, we lose our temper and become angry with others. Ironically, those others are often members of our own families—the people we really love the most.
Many years ago I read the following Associated Press dispatch which appeared in the newspaper: An elderly man disclosed at the funeral of his brother, with whom he had shared, from early manhood, a small, one-room cabin near Canisteo, New York, that following a quarrel, they had divided the room in half with a chalk line, and neither had crossed the line or spoken a word to the other since that day—years before. Just think of the consequence of that anger. What a tragedy!
May we make a conscious decision, each time such a decision must be made, to refrain from anger and to leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things we may be tempted to say. - President Thomas S. Monson

Friday, August 5, 2016


"You're braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
A.A. Milne, - Winnie the Pooh

This isn't a post about what a wonderful parent I am. It's not about giving advice or judging.  It's about my observations of my children and their parenting.  I find it interesting that we all seem to have our own parenting style.  What works for one, might not work for another. All kids are different.  My kids have that figured out.  Each has their technique that works for them. 

We had a little family reunion this last weekend.  We woke early to have family pictures done.  Each little family was gathered together with Craig and I in the center.  It was awesome and made me reflect on how blessed I am.  Craig and I have five grown children, four are married and one is enjoying life doing his own thing for now.  We have eight beautiful Grandchildren.  

Who would have thought that two crazy kids, in love in high school, would still be together in their fifties and  have such an incredible family.

My Grandchildren have parents that love them, protect them, teach them and want only the very best for them. They are all thriving and happy.  How much more could I ask for.

These pictures are from our little get together.  Can't wait for the family portraits we had taken, I'll post those when I get them.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Last Saturday Craig and I went for a little drive to one of our favorite places, Yankee Meadow.  We wanted to share it with our good friends, Sam and Ruth Gracia.  It was a nice break from the triple digit weather we've had. As expected it was beautiful and the weather was perfect for a picnic in the mountains.

I can't forget to post about my special visitors on Monday.  Kylie, Kayla, Jayden and Shaylie came to my house!  They stayed all day and we played, swam, ate and got totally worn out.  I love those kiddo's and wish we lived closer.  I just can't get enough of them!  I didn't get a picture of Jayden but just know that he is the very best at cannonballs! 

Friday, July 22, 2016


When Craig and I were young, both of our families would travel the same highway to visit relatives in Utah.  I remember these road trips well with my family.  I was usually in the back of the station wagon, squished and uncomfortable.  The two lane highway always scared me, especially when it came to passing a slow car or a big semi.  My Dad would keep us busy by telling us to find a place to stop for ice cream. That was our job and I took it seriously. My sister and I would keep an eye out for any roadside stop with a spinning ice cream cone sign in front of it.  My Dad would always stop, sometimes multiple times per trip. I remember being anxious to get out, stretch my legs and enjoy an ice cream cone.  It was always soft serve and Foster’s Freeze was the favorite. 

A couple of weeks ago Craig and I went on a road trip.  We traveled up that same two lane highway. It was fun to reminisce about family trips and some old sights.  Then we past an old house. A really, really old house.  It dawned on me that this house must have been there all those years ago and that my family and I had driven by it countless times.  I realized I had, more than likely, seen it as I was looking out the window looking for a place to stop for ice cream. 

It was a big house and I could imagine a large family with lots of kids living there.  They would have had holidays and family gatherings in the big weed filled yard.  Maybe the parents grew old together there.  I imagined the generations of this family moving out, saying goodbye, growing old, passing on.  It had a history and even though all I did was drive by it in a station wagon I was part of it.  


Friday, July 15, 2016


I had months to prepare.  Along time ago I had a dream. The dream started out so light and carefree. I was with Craig. We were holding hands, walking through the most beautiful, soft grass. It was a meadow. It took very little effort to walk for miles on the soft ground. Then suddenly the cool soft ground came to an end.  As far as you could see the ground was dry, gravely dirt. Suddenly I realized I couldn't go any further. Craig pulled me, but sadly I was forced to stop, I wasn't able to continue. I showed Craig why. I was barefoot, I had forgotten my shoes. I WASNT PREPARED.

I am not sure why we were walking so far or what the destination was but I did know it was somewhere special, good and there would be a reward waiting for us. Craig urged me to keep going but I couldn't. We agreed that he would go ahead and l would go back and get my shoes.

Then I woke up.

I had this dream at least  30 years ago. I've never forgotten it. It had a real, clear message for me -


I think all of us, especially me, should use caution and always be prepared for what life may throw at us. When I've remembered this clear message things have, for the most part, turned out in a positive way. I believe that my dream was a gift and has helped me through some difficult challenges.

Months ago Rebecca invited me to participate in a 5K with her.  I am not a runner but I love to walk. I knew this would be a challenge and I accepted. I was committed to eating right and to "get into shape". As the months ticked on I found really good excuses to skip the gym. I actually counted the months and then weeks always thinking I still had time to get it together.  It amazes me how fast time goes by for some things and slow for others. Training for this 5K went by fast. I literally hadn't gone to the gym for months. 

On the day of the race I was a bit nervous. I knew I wasn't prepared. I was asked if I was excited and the only answer that came to mind was, "not nervous, only anxious for it to be over".  The setting was beautiful, Mona, Utah, in the lavender fields. The weather was perfect. I was feeling blessed to be able to walk and jog (a little), in such a beautiful place. I was also grateful to be there with my incredible daughter and her family. Most of all I felt blessed to have Craig waiting for me at the finish line. I will do better to prepare in the future and -

I won't ever forget my shoes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I have two Son In-laws.  I truly love them both.  They each have their unique qualities that have enriched our family.  This post is about David, he is married to my youngest, my caboose, my sweet and incredibly lovely daughter Nicole. 

David fits in.  He did from the first time Nikki brought him to meet us.  I am thankful for him and appreciate the way he loves and treats my daughter. 

I’ve been thinking about Nikki and David a lot lately.  Nikki is pregnant and on Sunday I received a text from David saying that Nikki was in the hospital having contractions.  Getting another Grand baby is beyond exciting!  It was a false alarm though and they were sent home. 

I spent the rest of the day feeling very blessed to have David there for my daughter.  He’s going to be a wonderful father.  I was feeling so blessed that I made his favorite brownies.  These brownies are something I try to make whenever David is around.  (which is NOT often enough)  

They are so easy to throw together and I usually have everything I need in my pantry.  I thought I would share the recipe here, maybe David can make some soon.  I didn't take a picture of mine so I found a picture of brownies from the internet.  Yes, mine looked that good, even the perfect frosting.....ha!  Enjoy!  

David's Brownies -

1 C melted butter
1/2 C cocoa powder
2 C flour
2 C sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 C soft butter
1/4 C milk
1/4 C cocoa powder
3 C powdered sugar
Mix everything together

Mix the melted butter and the cocoa.  Mix in the flour and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together but be careful, DO NOT overmix.

Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean.

Spread the frosting on the warm brownies and let cool.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Crazy kids!

Today is my Anniversary!  I've been married to my best friend for 37 years.  We dated in high school so we've been together for 39 years.  As long as I can remember he has been there, since we were very young as we went to the same church. He was a year younger than me.  I didn't notice him at all, until I needed him. I needed a partner. The youth of our church preformed a huge dance production called The Dance Festival held at the Rose Bowl.  I didn't really want to participate but thankfully my adult leaders encouraged me and assigned me a partner. My partner, just like his, never came to practice.  One Saturday I saw him standing there without a partner and being in the same situation I asked him to be mine.  At that moment, I never in a million years, thought I would still be his dance partner.  

He was a bleached blonde, long haired surfer dude when we started dating.  He was the most layed back, carefree, fun, forgiving, amazing person I'd ever dated. I decided he was the one for me on a date to Disneyland. I was the first one to say, I love you. His reply wasn't what I expected but I won't go there, hey we were young, stupid and trying to be "cool".

He loved to say, "It's cool" to everything. He drove a loud car. That time he drove away from my house burning rubber didn't help my parents like him much but it brings a good chuckle now.  

We've experienced many highs and lows in this 37 years of marriage. The highs are what has made the memories while the lows have taught us tolerance, patience and made us strong while cementing our feet in the same stop.

Thanks for taking this journey with me Craig.  Looking forward to eternity where our load will be lighter and the view will be more clear!

Friday, June 17, 2016


I love technology because it keeps me in touch with the people I love.  I had a conversation via Hangouts with my Granddaughter Kylie last night.  We talked about her day, her thoughts, her friends.  She shared that she was having some drama with a couple of her friends.  I tried to give her some Grandma advice. She's a smart and beautiful ten year old girl. I hope she always shares her day with me. I asked her if she would write me a story for my blog.  She is my 'guest blogger' for today!

Below is her story -

I was just finishing lunch still soaking wet from the splash pads waterfall when I heard my friend Megan ask her Mom if she could go down the lake with someone, but I was the only one finished so I decided to go to the lake with her.  We stated running down the hill when my Mom shouted, "Remember, listen to the Holy Spirit".  We both agreed and started going down the hill right before my sist, Kayla came and tagged along.  My friend, Megan, got a little scared by the weeds tickling at our feet so I blocked the weeds in her way.  When we reached the sidewalk we saw a sign that said, "warning rattle snakes downhill!"  Megan was already scared enough!  But soon as we were standing still I remembered that my Mom said before we left, listen to the Holy Spirit.  So I told Kayla and Megan that the Holy Spirit will protect us and he did so and..... Our luck turned up finally.  We met a dog named Scruffy and tried catching fish!  I love that I choose to go to church!!!

-Kylie Nebeker

Thanks Kylie, your story is awesome and so are you!

Monday, June 13, 2016


I remember one on my children years ago asking me why God lets bad things happen.  After some thought I said the obvious response for me, “It’s gives people the opportunity to do good”.  I love the Mr. Rogers quote that has floated around social media about his mother telling him to “look for the helpers”.  

I like to keep things light and avoid posting opinions on my blog, but with yesterday’s events I was touched and needed to share.  Besides, it’s MY blog after all.

As I awoke yesterday morning and began seeing and hearing the horrific news of the incident at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando I was horrified. I don’t understand the mental illness that makes a person take the life of another person or in this case more than fifty people. 

I found myself especially torn by an interview of a mother trying to find her son. You may have seen that video. I can’t and don’t want to imagine the excruciating pain that mother must be going through. I admit I cried when I watched her. 

I won’t discuss LGBT issues and/or gun control for that matter.  In spite of our differences we are all humans and tasked with the labor to love one another. Let’s be honest in saying that some are just better at it than others.

As I watched the news, I couldn’t help but notice the helpers.  People were carrying the injured to safety, using their shirts to make tourniquets, praying for and comforting each other, standing in lines for hours to donate blood, one man gave a “bear hug” putting pressure on an injured man in the back of a truck as he was rushed to a hospital, saving the man’s life.  Some without a thought put their own safety in harm’s way to rescue another.  I was inspired to see the natural amount of human sacrifice that was given to aid those that needed it most.  I am amazed that in the face of the most horrible and evil circumstances a huge portion of the human race becomes helpers.
For all those reading this that are now living with an elevated level of fear, I encourage you to see past the ugliness and look for the helpers.  Stay focused…There is so much good in the world.
I believe when we leave this world we go to a better place.  We are welcomed with open arms by a loving Heavenly Father and by loved ones that have gone before.  I can imagine the reunions that took place in heaven for those fifty plus that were rescued from this mortality. 

Let’s challenge ourselves to be helpers to those that are healing in hospitals or struggling with the loss of a loved one.  Opportunities are everywhere, every day to show love to someone that needs it.  Let’s look out for each other, be positive and have hope.  Let’s keep our judgments to ourselves and look in the mirror more often.
Love and Peace -

Friday, June 3, 2016


Last weekend I finally made it to my HAPPY PLACE!   If you know me you'll have a good idea what that means.  If you don't know me that well, let me just say that my happy place includes a lot of sand and salt water. When I was young, my sister and/or friends and I would grab our beach essentials and head to the bus stop on Harbor Blvd. and Wilson St. in Costa Mesa, Ca. and pay a quarter for a ride to Newport.  We would slather on the baby oil and lay there all day.  I was blessed to grow up close to the beach, I love it and since I've moved 6 hours away I miss it everyday.

I took a lot of pictures. The first day we went to the Newport Pier. There were lots of people fishing from the end of the pier.  They had their lines rigged with five hooks each. It was fun to watch them reel in multiple fish at the same time.  A little girl fishing next to where I was standing squealed with delight when she felt that hard tug on her line.  Her Dad shouted to her to reel it in fast.  Little did I know that there were sea lions waiting for the lines to come out of the water so they could snag the catch.  Those lazy sea lions.  I clicked away at my camera, I knew I was getting amazing shots and couldn't wait to download the pictures.  Now for the duh moment........wait for it........I ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ALL OF THE PHOTOS I took.  Heartbroken and shamed, I admit I have never done that before.  There is a first time for everything.  Dang it.  The next day we went to Crystal Cove.  It was beautiful, calming and surprisingly not crowded.  Below is the picture overload taken at Crystal Cove.

Everyone needs a 'Happy Place'.  I highly recommend you find yours and get there.  Take a lot of pictures and whatever you do don't delete them!