Friday, December 31, 2010

Did You See The Snow??

It snowed yesterday!!  I was hard at work in Gilbert, and I looked out the window to see a sky as black as I have ever seen.  When I looked to the North, it was black and gray, and then I heard "it is snowing!".  Sure enough...I checked weather.com, and it said "Snow Flurries" in the 85215 zip code!!  Who would've thought??

According to my mom, it snowed here on  January 11, 1962...the day I was born.  In the olden days, ladies were basically given anesthesia when they had babies, so when  my mom called my dad and aunt and told them it was snowing, they told her to go back to sleep!!

So...if you live in AZ, go outside and check out Four Peaks......it is a sight to behold!!  Snow down lower than I have ever seen.  But...put on your coat...it is only 30 degrees!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

We celebrated Christmas at my mom's home in Payson.  As usual, we had the Johnson and Meyer families over.  This year, we decided to not exchange gifts with the adults, and to just give gifts to the Meyer boys, Ben and Matthew.  I am so glad that is what we did.  The stress of buying and wrapping was not there!!

As Will was gone, I decided to bake different things---I am always in charge of the sweet things!!  I made ginger cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cookies, turtles, and toffee for Christmas Eve.  For Christmas Day, I made pumpkin marbled cheesecake and cranberry swirl cheesecake.  Wow...they were good..  I love to try new things...anyone want to volunteer to taste test??? I don't bake too often, as there is no one here to eat it---but Steve and me!!

We did exchange gift/stockings with Mom and John.  We got a new computer for them on Black Friday--they were so excited and love it.  The old one was slow and would drop the Internet, etc.  I received a canner (thanks, JoAnn--now you have to help me!!), a potato ricer, B&N gift card (I now have a book on canning, and my new goal---baking all sorts of breads) and lots of other little stuff.  Steve is now all set to ride his bike in any weather--he is out now...

It was weird to not have Will here, but he is happy and is learning soooo much.  He thought they might have email time, but apparently they did not.  It will be interesting to hear what he did for Christmas later this week in his email.  I am so thankful that he is enjoying himself and meeting new people and a new culture.

Will's birthday is on Sunday....If you have a chance, please send him an email---william.sowards@myldsmail.net.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Month in Review

Let's see...lots has happened this month....In no order....
  • Will left for Peru on December 15.  We heard from him the next day....see elderwilliamsowards.blogspot.com
  • We sent Will a birthday envelope...I was amazed at the cost to send a 3.3 pound envelope of "stuff" to Peru...$28.65 for $10 worth of "stuff", that we do not even know he will receive!!
  • We went to the Sowards' family Christmas party in Tucson last weekend.  It was at Chris and Stephanie's in Sahuarita.  We went down in the morning and just did this and that in Tucson.  Love the mall there!
  • I had 2 office parties on the same day-December 17-I ordered food for Osborn, but went to the Greenfield party, as it was scheduled first!!
  • Steve had to do some video work at Zoolights on Friday night, so I went along.  It was amazing!!  We had not been for a few years, so I could not believe how many lights they have added.  We ran into friends, the Vanderwalkers and the CEO of Banner Desert.  
  • My mom and I went to seen "Hair" at Gammage on December 11, while Steve went with John to the Coyotes game.  Before the performance, we went to the Stockyards for dinner.  It was a great dinner!!  I had not been there for years!!  "Hair" was a great performance.  It was about the hippies and the protests during the '60s.  At the end of Act 1, the entire cast is completely nude---To do that you must like and trust who you work with!!
  • Steve and I had our yearly family shopping trip last weekend.   We like to go to Kierland Commons and look at Restoration Hardware and the other stores up there.  This will be the last time for that--Restoration Hardware is not the same anymore, so it was not as fun.  It is dark in there and it is just not as welcoming as it was in the past.
  • I have been busy baking.  I have fruitcakes maturing.  I made ginger cookies and toffee tonight.  Tomorrow I will made pecan cranberry tarts and cookies.  I am making 2 cheesecakes for Christmas day, at our framily (friends like family) Mary and Andy's home.  We will be at Mom's on Christmas Eve.
  • Will will not call us on Christmas, as he called last Wednesday, and the CCM does not have the facilities for all the missionaries to call.  We will, and do miss, him---as we do everyday---but we know he is in good hands, doing what he wants to do.
I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas!!  To me, people seem to be concentrating on family this year.  Maybe it is because we are---but I think it is GREAT!!  We did not buy presents for lots of people this year, so we do not feel overwhelmed with the wrapping and checking the lists.  I have found it to be such a more pleasant season.  I have had time to peruse cookbooks and magazines for new recipes to try.  I have been reading more...I guess I have been more content.

People keep asking me if I am upset about Will being gone, and I can honestly say no.  We hear from him weekly.  He seems to be happy, and is have the adventure of his life.  How can I be upset??  If I really miss him, I just log into dearelder.com and send him a letter.  I don't want to fill his email, as we hear they only get 45 minutes per week to email!!  Anyway, I think a real (even if it is typed) letter is better!!

Sorry for the rambling---but today, it seems right!!!  I just have lots of little thoughts!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Week 3-Last week in Provo

Check out Will's blog. elderwilliamsowards.blogspot.com  It is great to hear the excitement for go to Peru!!

D-Day

Today is the anniversary of D-Day, the day the  Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, which lead to WWII.

When we visited Uncle Dominic last week, he told us a couple of stories about his experiences during WWII, when he was in the 82nd Airborne.  By my calculations, he was only 18 or 19 when he joined the Army.  Think about the boys you know that are this age....Could they go through the experiences that the soldiers did in 1941?  Do they have the strength to be in a foxhole for 53 continuous hours?  After that 53 hours, what would then do when they removed their socks and the skin on their feet came off with it?  When they heard the first clap of thunder when they returned home, would they have sought shelter under a kitchen table, while others were in the kitchen?  During the night when the images of war and the fatalities of the war filled their heads, would they scream and yell out into the night, interrupting the sleep of all in the house?

I am so thankful for those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives in all of the military conflicts that the US has been involved in, leading to the great lives we all enjoy!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Experience with Mom

My mom and I went to Peru, Illinois this weekend to visit my mom's Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Dominic.  Uncle Dominic is only 16 years older than my mom, so he is like her older brother.  There are many family stories of troubles they got into together...Mom hid his engagement ring when he was going to ask Dorothy to marry him after WWII, because she was jealous.  Dominic wrote Mom's name on door, in writing that looked like hers, and my Nanna punished Mom for it.  After Dorothy and Dominic were married, they waited many years for their sons to be born, so my mom was like their child.  Dorothy would make candy for sales at school and would do everything with her, as my Nanna was busy running a tavern and gas station. 

As Uncle Dominic and Aunt Dorothy have aged, Mom tried to see then at least once a year.  Uncle Dominic has some serious health issues, so we felt this trip was needed.


After a three hour flight to Chicago and a 2 hour drive we arrived at their apartment.
Dinner on Thursday at their favorite restaurant....Applebees
Now, coming from the 60-70 degree weather of Arizona, we were not used to having this on Friday morning:
I wondered why Hertz had this ice scraper and brush in the car!

We picked up Dorothy and took her shopping and to lunch.  Her grand and great grandchildren live nearby, but she did not want to impose on them to take her clothes shopping.  Unbelievably, in a town of 9600, there is a great mall with Penneys, Sears, and Bergners (a Macy's type store), as well as the usual big box stores.  After 2 hours of shipping, she was ready for lunch
Can you believe the hair!!  Natural curl and THICK!!  
A nap was the next thing on the agenda, so we took Aunt Dorothy home to rest, until a party for Alton, my cousin Pam's now 4 year old.
The other great grandchildren are so cute!!
Maggie (Dorothy's curls) and eye of Alexis. 
But they should be...Here are the Great GrandParents and Grandpa, my cousin, Steve
When we left Pam's house, it was snowing...HARD...so Steve followed us back to the apartment. Living in AZ, I was scared to death!!  The car slipped and slided, but we got them home and ourselves to the motel without any trouble. 

Saturday morning, Mom and I decided to do a mall run.  OH....the sweaters, coats, hats, and gloves we do not have in AZ.  Bears and Packers stuff...Lucky we had gone with room in the suitcases....But we could not go right away, because this was what we found
Good thing for Uggs and Hertz!!
It was COLD but the sites were unbelievable...
Unbelievable that 12 hour of little flakes does this!
 Since the roads and sidewalks were slick, we had pizza, pasta and salad delivered to the apartment for dinner and then said our goodbyes on Saturday night. 

Up early this morning, as the roads were expected to be icy, we arrived at the airport early, but we enjoyed people watching!!

We learned many things on this trip...Google Maps, not MapQuest; Mom snores; You can always squeeze something else into the suitcase; Older people keep the temp way too hot......and we will be back in Peru when the leaves are green!!