I've Been Sucked into Cyberspace!!!

Help, I've been sucked into cyberspace. I can't wait to get up in the morning, check my blog, read the comments, check my e-mail, connect with my friends and family, check what's happening in Face Book. You get the picture! So, I had to limit myself yesterday until I got some other chores done. Needless to say ... I didn't post anything yesterday.

Nonetheless ... it was a terrific day! Since you all know that I enjoy saving a few bucks by cutting my hair myself, I decided that I could certainly cut Dieter's hair and save myself $50 every few weeks taking him to the groomer. So ... I bought some dog clippers for $200. You heard me right! I didn't have to pay that much for people clippers! So, with clippers, scissors, and comb in hand I proceeded to take Deiter out back on the picnic table and shave him down. Wow ... the clippers worked great and his back was as smooth as satin. Then it was time for the trimming of his skirt and legs. After trimming one leg, Lynn said, "You just made his foot look like a chicken's foot. Don't cut the other three legs like that one." So, with scissors in his hand, and scissors in my hand, we both went to work on both sides of the dog. I must confess that his skirt was cut a little higher than it should have been and his legs look fragile and skinny without much hair on them. But I did knick his ear bad and it bled quite a bit. I felt terrible. But .... I just gave him a $200 haircut and it looked better than before. So there! Three more haircuts and I will have paid for my clippers!

Yesterday afternoon I received a beautiful hand-stamped card from Shelli Gardner telling me thank-you for my service to the demonstrators and how much she will miss me. I've been waiting for her thank-you card, because if you know Shelli like I know Shelli, she would definitely send a thank-you card. Now I have to send her a thank-you card for the generous severance package she gave me. I just hate to stamp for her because it takes me forever trying to get the perfect card to send to her.

So ... where does the time go? Look at this picture of my little family. No ... they're not all my kids, just seven of them. The other three are my sister's kids. We had taken our annual trek to Montana to visit my sister and her family. We stopped off in Helena to show the kids the hotel, restaurant and health spa that we managed when we were first married. The Sleeping Giant Lodge was the name of the place. It's still there but the name has changed. We brought our first born, Angie, to this home. We lived in the presidential suite of the hotel, but we didn't even have a full kitchen, just a burner, tiny sink, and a half refrigerator. We didn't stay long after she was born and soon left for Salt Lake to find employment there.

So ... you're probably wondering about my resume. Well ... I got a call from the company and they want to visit with me. She's calling back to set up a time. Yikes ..... I'm so excited, nervous, scared, worried ... you name it ... I've got it!
You'd be proud of me. I just moved my computer, printer, monitor, keyboard, and sound system from my craft room to my office in the family room. Hooked everything up and I still have internet connection. Pretty good for an old lady, don't you think?
Got some more chores to do. Have a fabulous Thursday!

Top Reason Why Getting Laid Off From Work is Wonderful!

Since being laid off it's the most wonderful feeling having a son call and ask if I'm available to attend my grandson, Ethan's first soccer game. Before being laid off I would have some excuse why I was too busy not to attend. Even though it was cold, wet, and rainy, it was a nice feeling being with family and not worrying about getting the laundry and grocery shopping done.
This is 4 year old Ethan sharing my umbrella. This little guy was born the morning I left for Convention in Orlando, Florida. His mother called me the night before he was born and told me to be packed and ready for Convention because she was sure she would have him before my flight left. She was right! We went to the hospital to see him born and then Lynn drove me straight to the airport to catch my flight to Convention. How wonderful was that!

Here is is trying to figure out what's going on. He's a good observer and will soon get the hang of it.

The rain quit as soon as the game was over. Here Ethan is enjoying the treats after the game.
Well, today was really productive. I was able to unpack 12 boxes of personal stuff that I brought home from the office. I not only have a personal stamping room, but a business office in the downstairs. Talk about taking over the house! It was bitter sweet unpacking 9 years of wonderful memories. Tons of cards, pictures, and messages that all of you have given to me over the years. I still can't bear to throw them away. They're all too beautiful! I need to make some memory books for sure.
I received some timely phone calls from people that have been thinking about me. It was so needed because I was feeling just a tad lonely. I thought of our Sunday lesson yesterday in church about the need to have Faith, Hope, and Charity. Hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges. Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stablize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time. The Apostle Paul taught that the scriptures were written to the end that we "might have hope. Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Its absence when this desire of our heart is delayed ... can make the heart sick".
Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope.
So, it is with the difficult struggles of trying to find employment. My mind was swimming this morning, not sure which way to turn, getting a little discouraged,and not sure what to do next with finding a job. As I said my morning prayers I prayed for direction and that someone would help me find the way. Later this morning I received a phone call asking me to fax my resume to a company who is looking for a corporate trainer.
So, the rest of the day was updating my resume and getting it faxed to the company. Yikes ... now I'm so nervous if I get a job interview.
It was soooo easy getting my job at Stampin' Up! I interviewed with one Vice President and he offered me the job right after the interview, and told me that he was looking for someone with maturity and experience. That's something I definitely DO have. Stampin' Up! now has several interviews that you have to go through, including a group interview. I'm such a doofus when it comes to those. Someone is going to have to coach me big time as to what and what not to say!
I can't wait to share with you some more good news that may happen in a few weeks! I'll keep you posted. And remember, don't let discouragement, disappointment, and despair get you down. Remember Him and have Faith, Hope and Charity!

Yummy! My Mouth is Watering!!

So, I made cinnamon rolls yesterday to take to my neighbors. The house was too cold so it took all day for them to raise. Usually I make a double batch so there's plenty to go around. Unfortunately, Lynn and I got the two runts that were left in the pan.

Here's the lucious cinnamon rolls coming right out of the oven ... I immediately drizzle lots of frosting on them so it can melt and run into the insides of the rolls. The smell is tantalizing and just looking at these pics make my mouth water!

Here's little Dieter being 'good' in hopes of getting a small morsel!

Happy Birthday today to my daughter, Ginger, who just turned 31! Thanks to my genealogy chart I stamped, I turned to it to see how old she is today. This is the daughter that lived with us while they were building their home. I can honestly say that they were the most delightful family to live with. We never had an argument or a quarrel and it was like having a built-in maid living with us. It was so nice coming home to the squeal of little girls playing in the house, dinner in the oven, and a clean home. Ginger became acquainted more with my mother and dad who live next door, and took care of them during the day. She's been such a blessing in our lives and theirs. Ging, if hard times continue, maybe we'll just sell our home and Grandma and Grandpa's and we'll all come live in YOUR big home with YOU!

Ryan, our son-in-law who's married to our youngest daughter, Lindsey, works at Stampin' Up! in the financial department. He just returned from a week in Orlando for work. They dropped by on the way home from the airport to have lunch with Granny! This is Ellie and Ben, their two children, showing off their toys from Orlando. Lindsey is a wonderful cook and she's planning a mother's day brunch at my home on the 9th of May.
Well ... I'd best get ready to attend my grandson, Ethan's, soccer game today. Don't know how they're going to play in the rain. I'll take pics and post later. He'll be 5 in July.
Happy Saturday!

Lindsey's Blog

Many of you have asked the link to my daughter Lindsey's blog. She has some great grocery tips and recipes to share too.

Just click on the link on the sidebar of my blog, Lindsey, and that will take you to her blog.

Grocery Shopping a Breeze!

This is a darling little notebook that Seijra made for me about a year ago. You can see the "s" is missing on the 'Notes'. But this is the notebook I kept in my kitchen to jot down things that I needed from the grocery store and then carried it in my purse to the store.
Here's the inside of the notebook with my planned meals and grocery list. But I was traisping all over the store and retracing my steps getting this and that.

Here's the new list, just the first page, that I created according to the layout of the grocery store. I used it yesterday, for the first, and it worked like a breeze. I tell you ... I'll bet I cut down on half the time I was in the store. If you do this list in your computer, you can save each week's menu and easily print again for your new week. I could easily format this menu to a half page, width wise to save on paper. I think I'll work on that! If you read my daughter Lindsey's blog page she gives some great shopping tips too, like shopping for two weeks, instead of one. I've tried it, but I usually end up going back for something so it almost defeats the purpose of one visit to the store in two weeks. However, she claims it does save money!

Here I am trying out my new point and shoot camera. Not too bad of a close-up with this tiny little camera.

So, what am I going to do today? My To Do list says that I'm going to make homemade cinnamon rolls ... and no, not the Mrs. Rhoades dough ... real to goodness, homemade, the best in the business cinnamon rolls. Ask anyone at work whose tasted my lovely creations and they'll tell you they're the best! I have a neighbor who recently lost his wife. It was soooo sad. She was only 79 years old, not a thing wrong with her. I saw and talked to her at church the Sunday before she died and she was fine. She passed away peacefully in her sleep. I need to run some of these cinnamon rolls over to him, his daughter and son, and their families. I'll post pics, if they turn out as good as I've been braggin'. It's threating rain today and sometimes dough doesn't rise when there's a lot of humidity in the kitchen.

Hey ... a few of you commented that you made the Chicken Tortilla soup and loved it! Way to go! I'm proud of you all.

I've got to work on my visiting teaching list today. It's going to take hours. I need to format the report in Excel so I can sort it easier than the program it's formatted in. I've been putting it off because I don't want to do it. I know ... I'll make the dough for the cinnamon rolls now ... and while they're rising, I'll work on the report.

Love you all! Have a Happy Friday!

More Every Day Tips for the Busy Demonstrator!

Happy Thursday Morning! It's been a whole week since I left the doors of Stampin' Up! I've survived. Why isn't my house all organized and straightened in a week? Oh wait ... it took me more than a week to get it in the state that it's in!

I loved reading your comments on the cleaning tips. Let me share a couple with you.

Lydia, one of our fellow demonstrators, shares her great tip:
  • "Because I work full time and freelance and demonstrate is to set a timer for everything. Whether it's 15 min or an hour - focus on the task (like stupid laundry - sorry Linda - I don't clean toilets - they're gross - you know what goes on in there right? The Marine hubby does that) and you'd be amazed how much you get done with no distractions. Plus, when the timer goes off - you're FREE!!!"

And, Stampin' With Angie, encourages us to use a To Do List and break those big tasks into smaller tasks.

These are wonderful suggestions!

Let's talk about grocery shopping today ... something I get to do today, instead of Saturday. Horray for this new life of leisure! I like to shop at the same grocery store because I know where everything is in the store and it saves me time by not having to look for this and that in a new store. I made a form in Word which is kinda like a map of the store. For instance, when I walk into the store and go to my far left, it's the bakery and bread aisle, as I go to the back of the store, it's the dairy cases. So, on my form I've listed the sections of the store, as if I'm walking up and down the aisles. My form lists Bakery Section, and then I have some blank lines so I can write what I need from the bakery. I also have a place on the form to list what meals we're going to have for the week. This form really helps speed up time in the grocery store. I'm not back-tracking for this or that! When I get it filled out, for today's trip, I'll take a picture and post it on my blog.

Oh ... one of the best tips of the day! Keep the grocery list in a visible place in your kitchen with a pen close by. As I run out of this and that during the week, I just quickly write on the form what it is I need. No more guessing at the store!

I had a wonderful lunch with Jaron and Lori and some Stampin' Up! employees. It was just like old times. We had such a good time laughing and talking. I'll have to admit, I was just a tad blue when I got home. As we pulled out of the parking lot, they drove back to Stampin' Up! and we turned for home. I'll admit, I've got to stay focused and keep busy so I don't start feeling sorry for myself. My husband said I'll feel better if I continue getting up early as if I was still going to work. He's right!

One thing that made me feel better yesterday was taking the Nikon camera back to Costco and getting the Canon Power Shot Elph. It's just like the camera I had that was in my lost/stolen purse in Detroit. These beautiful Gerber Daisys were given to me by a friend.

I was testing out my camera with the Pets and Kids setting. Dieter was really sick last night. I think he ate too much grass yesterday. He barfed up a ton! If any of you have read Laurel, my daughter's blog, about my history of cleaning up barf, you'll be surprised that I didn't gag and I cleaned up the barf three different times. Dog barf is waaaay different than kid's barf. It doesn't stink! O.K. ... I've got to stop talking about barf. It makes me gag thinking about it.

O.K. ... time to get the makeup on, the grocery list filled in, and on to the store. Have a wonderful Thursday. I'm thinking of you!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here's that recipe I promised. Julie Johnson, a good friend of mine gave me this recipe in 2005. It's a clone from Max & Erma's restaurant. I had the chance of eating this soup, for the first time, in Columbus, Ohio. Since then, I've found a Max & Erma's in Virginia Beach and the Cincinnatti airport and I order it every time I go there.

This is delicious and easy to make. If you're going to put this together after work, I suggest you already have your chicken cooked or you can use canned chicken. It does take 2 hours to simmer, but I think you could cut down on the simmer time. There's really nothing to cook, just to heat, but I'm sure the flavors blend better if you simmer it the full time.

  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 2 cans Cream of Celery soup
  • 2 cans Cheddar Cheese soup
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes. (I used the spicy ones.)
  • 1 cup medium picante salsa
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I used dried onion cuz I was in a hurry.)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I didn't even need to add salt.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro (You can do without this if you don't like it.)
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 1 package flour tortillas
  • 1/2 pound longhorn stye colby cheese

In a large stockpot combine and whisk together until smooth, all 8 cans of soup. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, salsa, green chiles, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Bring all ingredients to a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Add cilantro and chicken breast chunks. Simmer another hour.

While soup is simmering make your soup toppings. Cut flour tortillas into small thin strips and deep fry in hot oil until lightly browned.

Shred cheese.

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls, top with shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips.


Going to have lunch with Jaron and some of the Stampin' Up! staff.

Have a blessed and happy day! --Linda Lou

Aaah ... good times! What am I going to do with all of these?

And, what about all my pins?

Before ... sorting through a pile of shoes. What you don't see is the other two piles that were in the bathroom!

High-heeled dress shoes have now been replaced by my ugly crocs! My first choice of footwear for running about town! Don't worry, I have a purple pair too. I was wearin' them! I do have to confess, there's more shoes that you can't see in the pic.

Aaahhhh ... my sweet, little closet. How did I stuff all those skinny clothes in here too? I can't tell you how much time I've saved, just today, looking for the 'other shoe', and trying to find something to wear. I found things in this closet I didn't know I had!

I'll post pics of the delicious Tortilla Soup tomorrow along with pics!

Cleaning Tip for Busy Stampin' Up! Demonstrators

Back to the blog ... I can't seem to post anymore pics just yet. I'll try again later.

Was just thinkin' about how busy life is when you work full-time, have kids at home, and have a Stampin' Up! demonstratorship. I never had the resources to hire outside cleaning help so Saturdays became a dreaded day. That was the day to do all of my grocery shopping, laundry, and house cleaning. Needles to say, not everything always got done. I started trying this trick a couple of months ago.

  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual and do one chore before you go to work. It may be as simple as cleaning your bathroom counter. Then the next day, scrub your toilet, and etc. By the time Saturday rolled around, my bathroom was clean. That doesn't sound like a big deal but it really helped.
  • Even before going to bed, do one small chore that you would normally do on Saturday. Maybe it's just vacuuming or dusting one room.
  • I even started shopping for my groceries on Friday night, after date night with my husband. That freed up an enourmous amount of time!
  • Oh ... one more small tip. Have duplicate cleaning supplies in your bathrooms. Many times I'll look at a dirty counter and think, "I'll clean that when I go get the paper towels and spray." And, then I never do because I don't want to go get it. This way I can just grab the cleaning supplies right when I notice it needs cleaning and it's done before I know it!

Well, the hubby is home from work and I have a delicious pot of Chicken Tortilla soup simmering on the stove. He's lovin' this layoff thing too! I told him to not get too used to it.

I'll take pics of the soup and share the recipe as soon as this site will let me post more pics. Have a wonderful evening. See you in the morning!

Everythings Comin' Up Roses!

Wow ... just when I thought life couldn't get any better ... Tuesday comes along! I've got some fabulous news that I just can't share right now, but I'm bustin' a gut to tell someone. You'll have to keep readin' my post to find out what I have in the works. If all goes as planned, you'll love following this blog!

Like I said before ... this layoff thing is rather nice. I've got the cleaning bug. Before layoffs, or we shall refer to it as BL, I had an excuse for letting things go, mainly my clothes closet. I have to admit that I'm a shoe horse and instead of putting the shoes back on the shoe rack I began to kick them off in the closet. Literally there was a pile of shoes on the floor, in the closet, and I had a hard time getting the door closed. While sorting through the shoes I decided that I could get rid of some of my skinny clothes too. You know the ones I'm talking about. Those clothes that shrink in the dryer or for some unexplained reason began shrinking while you were asleep. Do clothes REALLY get too little for you, or do you get too big for the clothes?

Well, all those skinny clothes that I'm sure I'll wear someday, went downstairs in the guest bedroom closet, including some shoes that I just couldn't part with.

And, a good share of bags, clothes that I don't want, and shoes went to the Deseret Industries, or as we call it, the D.I. It's a place where you can donate things.

It was kinda sad looking at all of the past convention badges, pins, and Stampin' Up! clothing that I've acquired over the years. I have 24 Stampin' Up! logo articles of clothing. Any takers?

I'm going to post this now before I lose the information cuz I want to post some more pics and share with you a good cleaning tip.

I'm SOOOOOO Excited!

Remember that old Dr. Will skit that I did with Spencer Willis on stage at Regionals a few years back? I wore the purple jacket with the red hat? And, my favorite saying was, "I'm SOOOOO excited" in that southern accent? Well, that's what today brings ... excitement for the day.

I woke early, probably around 4:30 ... stretched my arms and legs, tried to roll onto my side but Dieter (our mini schnauzer, 9 mo. old puppy) had me trapped. He was curled right up against me and I couldn't move. So, I layed there thinking about everything that has taken place in the last few days. Wow ... this lay off thing is rather nice. For the first time in weeks, I'm afraid to admit, I actually dusted. And, I willfully and gladly accepted a babysitting job Friday night for a sleepover at Granny's house. You see ... I wasn't tired from work and I gratefully wanted the company. And Saturday evening, since I wasn't at the Seattle Regional Seminar, I was able to attend a Ward Temple session at the Salt Lake Temple and a dinner afterwards. What a rewarding evening. Not only did I enjoy the quiet, peacefulness, and solitude of the temple, but I ran into a few friends that I haven't seen for years. One of them was a darling, little boy that I used to teach music lessons to. I told his Mother that he wouldn't remember me. He came into the Celestial room, ran to me, threw his arms around me and lifted me off my feet. He's a big boy now and has the strength to do that! And as he hugged me he exclaimed with joy, "I knew that was you! I just knew it!" Kids, you remember cute, little Clifton singing "That Dirty Old Toothbrush" at Mom's recital? That was Clifton in the temple!

Yesterday, Sunday, started with a 7:00 a.m. welfare meeting at the church. Once again, I wouldn't have been able to attend that, had I been in Seattle. It was a wonderful meeting and everything we were taught, related to my situation. We learned where to go for resources for employment, how to help the families in the ward that are struggling with unemployment and to help make them self-sufficient, and what our stewardships are with our callings in the church. Many of you may not be aware that in my church calling I'm responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of 150 ladies in the neighborhood. That's a full-time job in itself. Now that I'm not working full-time I'll have more time to devote to them, of which I'm thrilled.

I have to share a funny with you. Benny, my three year old grandson, adores our puppy Dieter. I was showing Benny how to make Dieter roll-over, stand, dance, and sit with hand-commands and dog biscuits. My 87 year old mother was watching. After doing a few tricks with Dieter I asked Benny if he wanted to hand my mother a dog biscuit to see if she wanted to do some tricks. Benny took the biscuit over to my mother and held it up in the air and asked her, "Do you want to stand, dance, sit, or roll-over?" We roared with laughter. I don't think he understood what we were laughing at.

Lindsey, our daughter, Benny, and Ellie

Good news --- I was able to buy a new camera Saturday to replace the one that was in my lost/stolen purse at the Detroit airport. So, I'll start posting a few pics. (I'm not sure I like it. I just downloaded some pics and they're a little fuzzy ...Nikon Coolpix. I had a Canon Elph Sure Shot and it was great. Any suggestions?)

More good news! I have my first speaking engagement penciled in on my calendar. Get the word out! I'm available for hire and this is something I've been wanting to do for years. Now I can still have the opportunity of getting out into the field and seeing you once again and giving you big bear hugs and kisses. Oh ... I'll be in London, England on June 3rd for a little vacation. If any of you UK demonstrators need a great speaker for hire, I'm available.

My e-mail address is sumatragal@gmail.com.

One quick idea for a genealogy page. I used a retired Simply Scrappin' kit, Home Again, the Curly Label punch, and some of the Big Shot dies for the title and initial. Now I can quickly see how old my kids and grandkids are and when everyone's birthday is. Oops ... which reminds me I have one coming on the 25th .. Ginger's birthday! Wow ... she'll be 31. I didn't realize that until I just looked at the chart! My kids are in Old Olive down the left side of the page, spouses are next to them in Creamy Caramel, and the grandkids are in Bordering Blue. The page is a little crowded, but that's what you get when you have 7 kids and 15 grandkids!

Once again ... there is a purpose in all of this. I see the hand of the Lord in all of this and I'm so blessed. And I'm so blessed to have the support of my family and my demonstrator friends as I travel on this new road of life. Check back daily and I'll keep you posted on my new adventures.

A Wonderful Day!

The sun was shining. Didn't get much sleep last night. My mind and heart was racing as I was thinking about all of my wonderful demonstrator friends!

I couldn't wait to start the day! I went into the bathroom, got out the scissors and clippers and gave myself a very nice haircut. I feel better in times of stress and worry to keep myself busy. My hair really turned out nice too.

Many of you may have noticed my manly hair cut on my stenciling video. How embarrassed I was! I ran to the shop to have my hair cut, the day before the video shoot, and told the beautician that I liked the back cut really short. I meant the bottom of my hair, not the entire back. She took the clippers and shaved up the back of my head all the way to my crown. After she took one swipe I knew it was too late to tell her to stop. She had to even out the rest of my head. But she continued onto the sides. Yikes ... now I was looking like an old, gray-haired man! Finally I grabbed what little hair I had left on top and said, "Don't cut anymore!" She handed me a mirror and asked how I liked the hair cut. I replied, "I've never in my entire life had my hair cut this short." "You mean, you don't like it?" she questioned. "It's a great hair cut, only there's no hair left to style!" I exclaimed. "Oh sorry", she said as she smacked on her gum, and began cleaning up my precious locks.

So yes ... I cut my own hair, lots of times. Anyone up for a haircut, perm, style, or color? I'm looking for work!

I met with the work force today. Stampin' Up! had arranged a special meeting for all of the laid off employees. This was exactly what I needed. It was great seeing my friends and listening and sharing what we are all going through. Please don't bad mouth Shelli or the company for the layoffs. It was necessary for the company to still be successful. It was better that I was laid off than my other three children who still work there, and they have little families to support.

After the meeting several of us sat around for another couple of hours talking and laughing and connecting with one another. We ended up at Wendys for probably another hour with the promise of keeping in touch with each other and meeting again for lunch at Wendy's because they have a great 99 cent menu. We have to be careful with our spending now that we're lookin' for work. :)

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent running a few errands and reading all of your wonderful comments. You'll never know how much they have meant to me.

Please, please, please, don't stay away from Convention because we won't be there! There are fabulous presenters still at the home office who will fill our place and you will come to love them as much as you love us! Convention WILL be the same without us, because convention is all about Stampin' Up! and what this wonderful company stands for. And besides that I had a wonderful class prepared for you, which another wonderful presenter will deliver.

If any of you ever need a fun presenter to come to your events to be your keynote speaker, I'm willing and available and my rates are the best in town! (Special deals for Stampin' Up! demonstrators!!)

Have a great night. It's off to bed for me. I'm tired and I think I'll sleep better tonight knowing that so many of my wonderful friends are praying and thinking about me. Life is wonderful!

A Big Thank-You to Shelli Gardner!

To my best friends in the whole, wide world! Shelli gave me a very generous severance package, as she did to all of the people who were layed off. We are very thankful for her generous severance and I love her dearly!

However, no amount of money can take the place of a simple 'thank-you' from your superiors. Your thank-you's from around the globe have warmed my heart and soul and brought comfort and peace. You truly are my sisters and I love you!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You ... Many Times Over!

Couldn't sleep so got up to check the comments on my blog. Wow ... how surprised I was to see so many beautiful promises of a brighter tomorrow and thank-you's. You all brought tears to my eyes. The best part of my job was getting to know and love you demonstrators. I will keep in touch with you through my blog and encourage you anyway I can in your business endeavors!

Hmmm ... I'm already thinking about some creative ways to use my God given talents!

So Long Farewell ....

Well ... the bomb hit today! Yep, Jaron, Lori, and I were layed off from Stampin' Up!

You would have been soooo proud of me. I held my head up high and went out singing ... literally ... I sang at the top of my lungs while getting in the elevator, "I'm Leaving Now .... Whoo Hoo!"

I've learned a very valuable life lesson. The Spirit spoke to me through dreams and to my heart. I knew I was getting layed off. And, after listening to the conference talks I knew that those talks were for me. I know that if I continue being faithful, keeping the commandments, paying my tithing, serving the Lord in my calling, HE will provide. HE always has!

As I was driving home and experiencing the pangs of unemployment, several thoughts came into my mind. I know this was the Spirit talking to me. I've always wanted to do voice overs and commercials, now I'll have the time to pursue that. You need to be on 'call' to do that. Wouldn't that be fun? And, out of the blue, one of my bestest buddies who used to work at Stampin' Up! called me and told me that she's already contacted another company that one of Stampin' Up!'s best presenters is out on the street lookin' for work. I already have a lead! See, the Lord provides!

I think one of the saddest things about leaving, of course is missing my little buddies, but to be dismissed without a word of thanks for 9 years of dedicated service! Not one word of thanks, or we'll miss you from upper management. BOOOOOO!

Now I've said my peace. There's a brighter tomorrow than today. Life is Good! Love to you all!!


Today has been the saddest day at Stampin' Up! My little buddy who sits next to me was laid off this morning. It's so sad seeing her empty desk. Already there were things that I needed to ask her about upcoming events and she's gone! I've been sad all day.

Tomorrow is going to be Black Wednesday. I'm going to wear all black. There will be a ton of people laid off. Everyone should know whether they have a job or not by afternoon.

I love our company. I'ts been a wonderful 9 years. I hope to retire from this company. I love the people I work with. They're a great second family. Well ... let's hope that I'm still employed tomorrow!

Now I See Where Sarah Gets It!!

So ... it's a laid back Saturday. I should be house cleaning and grocery shopping. But I was excited to try out my $40 worth of cookie decorating supplies and a great sugar cookie recipe so I got up early to try my hand at decorating. Cookies are cooling ... one sugar cookie flooded and ready for the design. Phone rings and Ginger asks what I'm doing. Wants to know if I would like some help. Would love it! The girls arrive and we proceed to decorate the cookies. Talk about fun!

I feel great ... I remembered Brian's birthday, which is today ... Happy Birthday, Brian ... and Ginger's on the 25th. Then I was reminded that it's Ginny's birthday tomorrow. Ooops ... I forgot that one! We decide to go to Toys R Us whereI'll let her pick out a birthday gift. I run into my dark closet to put on a pair of shoes. As I'm climbing out of the car, Taylor says, "Ummmm ... granny ... you have two different colored shoes on!" I looked down and sure enough ... I have the same kind of shoe on each foot, only one is brown and one is black! Oh well ... I figure that if I look everyone in the eye and smile, no one will look down at my feet and notice! I don't think anyone did ... I never saw anyone pointing and whispering.

Later that day the Ads and Laurel dropped by for a few on their way to pick up Chinese food for the sick boy at home. It was darling to hear the Ads tell us what the temple is when asked.

Yesterday morning Lindsey called and asked if they could visit after dinner. I told her to come on out and we'd eat dinner together. She asked what she should bring and then started rambling off a list of goodies. I had her on speaker phone while Dad was saying his prayer. While kneeling at the bed, he said, "Twice baked potatoes!" I had purchased a turkey breast at Harmons, thinking that it would feed plenty. We had Mom and Dad and Reese over for dinner too. Well ... when I took the turkey breast out of the oven and noticed the hard crusty skin, it reminded me of the turkey on Christmas Vacation when they cut into it, it exploded. Do you remember the crunchy sound while they were chewing on their turkey? Well ... that was a lot like the turkey I cooked yesterday. I did save grace by throwing a few chicken breasts into the Rocket to save the day!

Then later that day Angie, Boyd and the boys dropped by. And Ryan and Camie and the kids got home from Zions and gave us a call. It would have been even more perfect to have seen them, along with Nat and Neal and the girls!

I have a late night video shoot tonight so I don't have to go into work until later this afternoon.

Elder Eyring is My Favorite Speaker!

Yep ... they saved the best til last for the morning session of General Conference ... Elder Eyring! Not only do I love to hear this humble man speak but I enjoy reading his talks over and over again. I always find something new in the same talk I read over several times. I loved Elder Hales talk too!

It's soooo nice laying around the house ... not doing a thing ... no makeup on ... waiting for another session of General Conference! I shopped for weekly groceries last night so I wouldn't have to go out of the house today. Nice ... very nice!

Priesthood session tonight .... home alone. Guess I'll go over and visit Mom while the guys are gone. Reese is staying overnight and then having his friend over for dinner tomorrow. We're meeting her for the first time. This should be interesting. I can't wait to meet her! Returned missionary even!!

Oops ... Nat ... if I spelled Abigail's name wrong on my blog I must have spelled it wrong on my geneology sheet. Yep ... only I spelled it Abbigal. I'll correct it so I'll get it right next time.

Back to afternoon conference in a few minutes....!

Sleepless in Seattle!

Hooray ... I'm going to Seattle in a couple of weeks for a regional seminar and Nat, Neal, and the girls are coming to stay with me in the hotel. While I'm working they'll see the sights and then we'll get to be together in the evenings until I leave for home Sunday morning. I can't wait to see my little Abbigail, and Katie Bugs, and Sarah, and of course Nat and Neal! Oh Nat ... be sure and bring your ear plugs for everyone in the room ... I snore! I won't be able to go out Thursday night because we have an appointment with a demonstrator that evening. But I'm all yours Friday and Saturday evening!

I made the cutest geneology page using a Simply Scrappin Kit, the Big Shot, and the Curly Label Punch. When I get a camera ... BOOOOO!, I'll take a picture and post it. We're going to do a similar page layout for our Enrichment Activity next Tuesday. We're having the sisters come over to the church and rotate through various activites such as working in the Geneology Library, doing a family history scrapbook page, watching a provident living demonstration on using wheat berries (whatever that is???), doing visiting teaching interviews, making some cute boxes with the Big Shot for their sisters on their visiting teaching route, and having a bowl of soup and a roll to eat. Sounds like fun ... I can't wait!

A big storm is brewing! It's been snowing every other day this week. It just started raining really hard. Hope it doesn't snow while I'm driving to work tomorrow.

Yeah ... Friday tomorrow and casual dress day at work, and getting closer to Conference weekend. Can't wait!

Not too much to report!

Life is great! Live each day as if it's your last, and someday you'll be right!

We had a great, lady in the ward pass away in her sleep last Tuesday morning. What a shock! She was only 79 years old and in great health. A lot of her family lives in the ward and so it's been such a loss to everyone that knows and loves her. She had a grand funeral with lots of family and friends that showed up to support the family. A few minutes before the family prayer I was notified that the casket arrangement hadn't arrived and there had been some mixup from the floral place. So I grabbed a spray of flowers and took it apart and grabbed a few sisters and we ran into a classroom and with the help of some masking tape and ribbon we were able to put together an arrangement that looked quite nicely for the top of the casket. Don't ever underestimate the power of the Relief Society!

Still no purse! I miss it and my camera and my pink glasses! BOOOO!

A few of us from work are going to attend a funeral tomorrow in Spanish Fork. An employee's father passed away and we want to support her.

Can't wait for Conference weekend. I love the Saturday and Sunday sessions ... lounging around home and listening to conference.

Read the best book, thanks to Shannon ... These is My Words. Without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a loooong time! I was depressed after finishing it because I didn't want it to end. Any suggestions out there for another good book?