Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Does Christmas Have To End So Soon?

Even though Christmas has past, with snow still on the ground, icicles hanging from the roof, and the outside temperature is 18 degrees, it still feels like Christmas.  Well, at least the gift giving or in this case, the celebration of a significant milestone for Erin (30 yrs. old), the season is joyous.  
This evening, New Year's Eve, we went to the cultural hall at the chapel, and enjoyed a birthday celebration for Erin and also welcome in the New Year.  Well, we left at 10:00PM, our curfew for older, wiser folk.  It was a fun event with friends and their families, music by Diamond DJ, food, and fun time visiting with others.  I think they're still at it.  We brought our grandson Teddy home to put him to bed.  He was enjoying the evening and started to tire out.  
While we have received Christmas cards for dear friends and family, the news is happy and we are pleased to see others are well and feel blessed.  We've heard from friends a long distance away as well as close by.  With news posted on blogs, we are able to keep up with the goings on with our loved ones and friends.  
So, the purpose of me updating this blog, as the very last moment of the present year 2008, is to let you know that we appreciate and love you for your thoughts and well wishes in our behalf.  We miss you, our children, their families, including our 17 grand children, our dear relatives, and friends.  
Even though the year has been a down one for many, we feel blessed because of
 our family.  During the year, we were able to visit with the families of four out of five of our children.  And the fifth that we missed, we've been able to keep in touch with them over the phone.  So, we're never really far away.  Earlier in the year, our eldest daughter Leslie and her family came for a visit at April Conference time.  Following her, our youngest daughter Rachel and her family came for a visit.  Since our daughter Erin is the only one closest to us, just around the block, each time was a great family visit with the siblings and grand children.  During the summer, we travelled to visit our daughter Nicole and her family.  Along the way, we met up with our daughter Leslie and her family and enjoyed part of the trip together and again met up at Nikki's home.  Wow, all those grand children having fun with their family.  That was the big visit until Thanksgiving when Leslie and her family came for a surprise visit.  So nice to get together and visit the family.  
For Christmas we spent with Erin and her family and enjoyed the time together.  
Our joy is with the fact that each of our children have special spouses who are the best eternal companions.  They are wonderful in every way, they are the best match for our children, and they make the family special.  
So, you see, we are blessed beyond measure.  To them, to you all, we wish you the best in the New Year, may joy, peace and love fill your hearts, may you always know of our love for you, and may Heavenly Father bless your lives beyond measure.  Hauoli Makahiki hou!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hustle and Bustle of the Season

With Christmas just over a week away, winter has manifested itself in such a profound way. At our home we have probably 3 - 4 inches of fresh snow. The high today is about 28 degrees, so that means the snow won't melt as expected.

For me personally, it's a white knuckle type of driving. This morning was no exception. Most people are being cautious, others in big 4 wheeled drive are intimidating and show-offs, and the rest of us just putter our way to work. Well, I was nearly rear-ended several times, just about slid off the road twice, and slid to a sidewalk trying to avoid an idiot who decided to observe an imagineable stop sign. I did avoid that car and made it to work safely.

Today is another busy day at work here on campus. Besides finals being conducted, there are lots of people in need of our assistance. We always try to accomodate them and be polite as possible. Most customers are patient and know that the only person they should blame is themselves for their own procrastination. I venture to say when they leave here, they have a sense of peace and joy, one more thing to check off their list.

On a more profound note, my ward family is going through the stresses of finals, tougher economic times, and trying to make the best of things during the Christmas Season. Sunday was a majorly busy one for me, conducting tithing settlement interviews. The line was long, the time spent was well worth it, and the testimonies of these young families was something to behold.

After a stressful and busy day yesterday, I was expecting a quite evening, for me to catch up on a long list of things. One of my young ward family members came over to drop off a plate of cookies, a gesture of their appreciation and most of all, a way to spread the spirit of Christmas. I had not expected that, even on a cold snowy night. They drove all the way from Provo, found our home here in PG, and they didn't get lost. (Maybe they had a GPS unit or something.) That was truely a blessing in action.

We are blessed to have wonderful children, who are bless with wonderful families. Their lives are simple proof that Heavenly Father loves each one of them. They and we are blessed beyond measure. The joy our grandchildren bring to us can only be measured in the smiles, giggles, and energy they all have. This year has been great to us, we were blessed with two new grandchildren, Wyatt and Ruby Jo. They are number 16 and 17 respectively.

To all our friends, Mele kalikimaka.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving, Family, and Christmas Beginnings

As the Thanksgiving Holiday approached, we plannned to celebrate the day with our family who live just around the corner and up a block from us. Dinner plans were made a week in advance, who would make what and when. It's also the time we put up our Christmas Tree, and have a family activity.

Then on the Monday, we called our eldest daughter to wish her a happy birthday. She had received her birthday gift (see her blog) and we had a nice visit on the phone. An hour or two later, I get a call from Jo that Leslie, Troy and the kids are travelling down to join us for Thanksgiving, surprise! Wow, it really got things moving, because in our family, when we have more family members to celebrate the holiday, the better the visit. Anyway, it made our holiday week visit, and the grandkids had loads of fun with cousins.

Of course, the Thanksgiving meal was wonderful, and we had fun making sure we had enough dessert. Then of there is planning for Black Friday, which personally didn't excite me at all, so I slept in. But our visit with the family was righteous. Our other daughter Erin setup her photo studio and took our picture, (we'll put it up on the blog in our next post) then used Photoshop to remove the extra bulge and 10+ pounds just for good measure. We had a great time with that.

On the Saturday, we planned to visit Temple Square to see the lights, so did some 50K people at the same time. It was crowded but the lights were really done well.

Well, now that family have left for home, the left overs are almost done, it's clean up, clean-up, you know the song or rhyme. Anyway, here are the picture for your enjoyment.