Monday, November 30, 2009

Winners of the Free Pass to UStamp With Dawn and Friends!

Happy Monday Morning, Friends!

I have two winners for a free pass to UStamp with Dawn and Friends; Tammy, from Albuquerque, New Mexico and The Ahlquist Family, from Arizona. Please e-mail me at sumatragal@gmail.com for information regarding your passes. Congratulations, girls! You're going to love this round of projects. Magnificent, if I do say so!

Thanksgiving was a marvelous day. Everything turned out wonderful. The food was delish, the company couldn't have been better, and the weather was perfect! The one down side was that my mother and dad couldn't come over to the house for dinner. Mom is very much house-bound and pretty much bed-ridden these last few days. We volunteered to carry her over but she asked if we'd just bring her over her food, which we did. I doubt if we'll have her here, on this earth, for too much longer. She's lived a great life and I'm enjoying my time with her while I still have her. So my challenge to you today is, to either go visit or call one of your loved ones, and tell them how much you love them. You never know when you may not have them in your life.

Here's a few pics from the event. Not as many family this year ... only 15, with my Mom and Dad and then I took in some dinner to one of the shut-ins in our neighborhood.

Have a grave side funeral to sing at this morning so I'd best be getting ready for the day. I've been up since 4:00 a.m. Had to run Lynn to the airport. He's in Pittsburgh for work.

Ohhh ... I made the BEST homemade pizza for dinner last night. My sis's recipe. It was marvelous. I couldn't eat the crust, because of my diet, but the topping and sauce was divine. I'll post the recipe tomorrow for you to try. I'll definitely include this recipe in the cook book!

Have a happy Monday!

Loves and Hugs -- Linda Lou











Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 Free Passes to UStamp with Dawn and Friends!

The movie Blind Side is wonderful! Go see it!! It's a true story and Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw are wonderful in it. I didn't want the movie to end. It's one of the best I've seen in a long time.

Well ... I'm down to an all-time low with my weight. I tipped the scales at 173 this morning. I'm down 84 pounds in five months, today! My good friend Mel brought me some clothes a few weeks ago, size 16. At the time, the pants wouldn't zip up. This morning I got out the pants and they slipped right on and zipped right up. It was a dream. There is even room to spare. She brought me some pretty suits too, that fit. It just feels so good. But it's still mentally hard to conceive. I look at the size tags on the clothes and hold the item up, and think to myself, "There's no way this is going to fit. It's too small." And when I put it on, it fits and I'm just baffled. For years, I've tucked, tugged, pulled, and yes even laid on the bed with a pair of pliers in my hand, zipping up my jeans. No lie! Those were such miserable days though. A few hours after having zipped myself into those too-tight jeans I would soon get a horrible stomach ache and had to loosen them. But watch out! You wouldn't want to be around when I loosened my jeans. It was like the Teton Dam exploding! My stomach exploded out of the jeans and knocked Lynn's front tooth out, and blackened Natalie's eye, who were both sitting next to me. (JK)

Is the diet still boring? Yes! Am I still staying away from rice, potatoes, sugar, bread, and pasta? Yes. Do I still miss them? Yes, every day! Do I cook a lot for my family? Yes, and I'm really enjoying cooking. I think I've transferred MY food addiction to cooking and watching others enjoy it. I've even been making bread twice a week, and I would almost kill to have a slice, hot out of the oven, smothered with real butter!

Last night I had a terrible episode with a piece of steak. I was eating and talking, at the same time, and not paying attention to chewing my food. When will I EVER learn? While watching Dancing With the Stars I started having another heaving episode. It lasted until 11:30 at night. It was horrible. I finally threw up a very, small piece of steak that had a tiny, little tail of fat on it. That was what was lodged and was making me ill.

O.K. now for the fun news. Let's have another 2 free passes to UStamp with Dawn and Friends, which will open on December 1st. For those of you who enter a comment on today's blog about who you think will win Dancing With the Stars, will be entered into the contest. If you don't watch Dancing With the Stars, enter any kind of comment and you will still be eligible. I'm anxious to hear who you ALL think is going to win the competition.

Got to get back to the cook book. I'm up to 70 pages of recipes. It's going to be a great book.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Me!

37 years today, Lynn and I were married in the Logan Temple in Logan, Utah. I was living in California and he in Logan. He made all of the wedding/reception arrangements and did an awesome job!

My parents had never met him or his family until two days before we were married. Mom, Dad, and my little sister and I left California Saturday night, planning on driving straight through to Logan. Dad and I decided that we would each drive 100 miles and switch each other off. My beautiful hand-made wedding dress and veil was laying in the back window of the car to keep from getting crushed. During the night, while Dad was driving, we were all sleeping, including Dad! The car went off the freeway and down into the ravine. I remember waking up to the sound of crunching gravel and being jostled about. Dad woke up about the same time we all did and said, "We're all right, we're all right!" Gently he steered the car back onto the freeway and stopped. We were pretty frightened but amazed that the car didn't roll and there was no damage. The first thing Mom said was, "How's the wedding dress?" She was sure something had happened to it. But it was fine. I think Dad only had a few miles left to drive, from his 100 mile stint. I took over from there and drove the rest of the way to Logan.

We pulled up to our apartment, early Sunday morning to meet Lynn. We weren't too impressed with the digs when we first saw it. It was an old three story home and looked like it was in need of repair. We followed the stairs up to the second floor where Lynn met us and took us in to show us the cute apartment. We even had some furniture in it that had actually belonged to Brigham Young. There were some quirks about the apartment that we can laugh about today. It wasn't too funny at the time, when we lived there. The heating system was controlled by the Capitol Theatre, which was next door. So, when there was a show playing, the apartment was hot, very hot. In fact, we had to throw open the windows to cool off. And when there wasn't a showing at the theatre, we froze to death. The kitchen was so tiny and narrow that if Lynn came into the kitchen while I was in there, we both had to back out, because we couldn't turn around. I'm not joking! And let's talk about the bedroom. It was so small that the bed had to be pushed up against the wall and Lynn who slept against the wall had to climb in bed first, or climb over me to get into bed. (Let's not go there ...)

It was the coldest winter in Logan, the year we were married. We had to keep a heater under the car all night to keep it from freezing. Lynn worked at Thykol and I worked at a Credit Service as a Secretary. We loved being married and were so happy. A few weeks after being married we found out that we were going to have our first addition to our family. We were elated! 9 months and 9 days later, Angela Lynn joined our family.

I can honestly say that my love for Lynn has grown even more, since the day we were married. My heart still skips a beat when I hear the garage door open because he's coming home from work. He's the kindest man I've ever known. There's not a mean bone in his body. I always said that I wanted to marry a man that loved children. And Lynn loves babies and children of all ages! That's a sign of a gentle and kind man. Oh ... and the best part of all, he loves the Lord and me. He honors his priesthood and excels in his church callings. Gosh, I love my man!



So about yesterday .... the Fab 4 got together for lunch, stamping, and visiting at my home. We had a wonderful time. It was just what I needed. I've been so excited these past couple of weeks, knowing that they were coming to visit. It's hard working with people that you love for 9 years and then suddenly not having them in your life anymore. We hadn't seen each other since April! We were like school kids, hugging and laughing. Anyway, I sure do love these gals. And we'll definitely get together again, soon. Seated to my left, Connie J., Terri D., Donna M, and on my lap, the famous Dieter. They are all amazing crafters. Connie is into sewing right now and brought some beautiful table runners. She's inspired me to make some. She's one talented lady! Terri has a son on a mission in Iowa and is the proud mother of two little female Yorkies that she calls her 'girls'. It's so fun to hear her talk about them. I can't wait to see them. Donna is an incredible computer whiz and can do anything on the computer. She's also an amazing designer. Check out her web page, Donna's Stamp Room on my side bar! She brought a box full of her creations to share and they are spectacular. Many of them are displayed on her web.

Best get busy. Want to go see Blindside this afternoon and visit my two grandkids who just had surgery.

Love to all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Down 80 Pounds!

OK ... lesson learned. Don't film videos with your Canon Power Shot in vertical mode! I downloaded some software to flip the video and it skews the proportions on the video so I looked about 3' tall and 3' wide. I even flipped the video in Movie Maker and it distorted the image as well. So, lesson learned ... only film in horizontal mode.

So when you watch this video clip, just tilt your head to the side to view or turn your monitor on its side. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised when you see what my pre-surgery clothes look like on my body now. Too funny! And yes, I DO look like an umpaloompa in my brown trousers.

Had a very busy Thursday and Friday of last week. Had another funeral. One of my funeral committee members and I spent 9 hours prepping for the funeral. This means cleaning, vacuuming, and dusting the chapel, as well as cleaning the kitchen, Relief Society room, bathrooms, and gymnasium in the church. It's a LOT of work. Next time we'll ask for more sisters to come over and help. The actual setting of the tables, center pieces, and etc. is a piece of cake compared to the cleaning. Our committee does a marvelous job with asking for volunteers to bring salads and desserts. We provide the meat. In all honesty, we really put on a nice luncheon for the family. Every thing looked so pretty. We have a wonderful sister who takes care of our centerpieces and always does such a beautiful job! After the funeral is over, then it's back to cleaning up all of the rooms that we prepped the night before. But the service is worth the blessings that we receive. Even though it was hard work, I felt wonderful and had plenty of energy. The Lord has REALLY blessed me in my calling and I'm thankful for the wonderful sisters that I work with.

Oooh ... just wanted to share that I'm a Creative Crew girl, again, on UStamp with Dawn and Friends . I've got a fun idea to try. If it works out, you'll find photos and step by step instructions by joining UStamp with Dawn and Friends. I'll also be giving away two free passes to the UStamp Year End Blowout. I'll let you know what you need to do to get entered into the free drawing.

Also, if you've ever gone to the Craft and Hobby Association in Annaheim, California, you'll want to click on the eWillow logo at the top of my blog to get a discount code for your entrance ticket. Good savings there. And by the way, check out all of the wonderful projects on eWillow. It's a great place to sell your paper creations!

Well, my lovelies ... I'm having the time of my life. I'm getting some great bookings for speaking engagements for next year. I'm sure I'll be seeing many of you in my travels and can't wait to give you loves and hugs!

video

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Down in the 70's ...!

Ooh I've waited for this day for soooo long. I finally tipped the scales at 179 this morning! I haven't weighed in the 70's since my daughter Natalie was born in 1975. Hmmm ... look at all those 7's. Must be my lucky number today! It's going to be a great day today. I just have that feeling.

If any of you are considering having this surgery done or have questions that you would like me to answer, I would be happy to talk to you on the phone or e-mail. Like I've mentioned in the past, it's not an easy diet, and yes it gets boring, and yes it's still hard to cook my favorite treats and not partake or even lick the spoon. And yes, sometimes I still get hungry, but nothing compared to what it was like prior to the surgery. My e-mail is sumatragal@gmail.com. And yes, the surgery was uncomfortable for a few days and recovery took a few weeks until I started gaining energy. I was very dizzy and faint for quite a few weeks after surgery. It would have been hard to go back to work after two weeks. My biggest fear is keeping the weight off. I've know many who have gained back some of their weight. Of course they haven't been sticking to their maintanance diet and have added sugar and soda pop. I'm not a pop drinker so I don't have a problem with that.

Janice, you mentioned that you are having a spring event and wanted to know if I would like to come to the Chicago area for your stamp meeting. In a heart beat! Please e-mail me and we'll chat. I'm excited to join Caroline LeBel and her peeps in Toronto in February and Tara Bazata and her peeps in Denver in the Spring. I've also got some great friends in Billings, Montana who I'm trying to convince to have an event so I can get up to my home town! I promise I'll deliver a great motivational talk and a terrific stamping presentation!

The cookbook is coming along nicely! I'm up to 50 pages and I still have quite a few recipes to include. I wish I could taste test all of them, but it would be another year before I could have the book published. But I have great faith in the recipe submitters because everything our demos do, we do it great! Carol Marbach submitted several recipes that her husband uses in his catering business. He's a chef. When I was typing them in yesterday, my mouth was watering, because I could just imagine how wonderful the marinades, sauces, sugar cookies and nut sticks tasted.

Baby Liam is off his Bellirubin bed and is eating much better and sleeping much better. Mom is very happy!

We have another funeral in the ward this Friday. Brother Lynn Evans passed away. He's since moved from our ward but still has family living here. We're so happy that we can help with the luncheon and funeral arrangements. There will be around 80 people for the luncheon. Wish Carol's husband was here to help with the cooking!

Best get out of my nighty and get ready for the day. Did I tell you how much I love you all? Well, I do ... and then some!

Make it a GREAT day! Remember ... YOU have the power!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Down 75 Pounds!




This past week the weight has been coming off a little slower. Perhaps it was the evil cashews that I bought and inhaled. I'm only supposed to have seven cashews for a snack. Ooops ... did I hear seventy? Perhaps that's why I visited the restroom a little more than usual. I'm going to have to stay away from them. Bad girl! But I'm down 75 pounds. I have about 42 more pounds to lose.

Did I tell you that I had my first fruit in four months? Yum ... raspberries. The doc said that a lot of gastric patients can't have fruit for a year. But he gave me permission to have it a couple times a week. He told me to stick with the berries since they are lower in sugar. I put some skim milk on them and a little sweetener. Talk about died and gone to heaven! You don't realize how much you miss the little things in life until you no longer can have them.

Yes, my hair is getting thinner. I cut it this morning and there's not as much to cut. Doc said it should grow back. I'm taking a supplement called Biotin which is supposed to be good for the hair and nails. My energy level is high and I feel so wonderful.

I spent today organizing my stamps. It was sooo much fun. I finally separated the retired from the current and found that I have more retired sets than current. BOOOOO! Got to have a sale so I can use the proceeds to buy more new ones. YEAH!!!

Our little grandson has jaundice really bad and has to sleep on a light bed and go to the hospital every day to have his blood drawn. Poor little guy. He's sure a beautiful baby. I haven't been able to help my daughter because her little girl is coming down with a cold. I can't chance getting a cold because I can't expose Mom and Dad to a cold. A cold would probably kill my mother. She hasn't had one in almost 4 years. Of course she's been home bound for most of the 4 years.

Got some dirt coming tomorrow so we can do a little landscaping in the back yard before the snow falls. Wish I could afford to get some sod in. Sigh .... oh well ... maybe come Spring.

Have a fab Friday! Can't wait til next Friday. I'm having lunch here at my home with some ole Stampin' Up! buds. Haven't seen them for six months.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family Halloween Party

Aaaah.... my favorite holiday, Halloween! Our family had a get-together the night before Halloween at Angie's home. We had scones with chili and cheese on top, salads, and a donut eating contest. The little kids were so dang cute watching them trying to eat the donuts without using their hands.

Ellie and Logan.

Look at little Ellie trying to use her neck to steady the donut!

After a while we let them use their hands and told them that the first person eating their donut would win the grand prize. Needless to say ... Ethan won! Look at those cheeks stuffed with donut!

Spencer won out of the big kids.

Ellie would have won in her category, but she was put with the big kids. No fair!!!

Hannah doesn't look too serious. She was enjoying watching everyone else. Look at Ben attacking his donut!

There Hannah goes!

Addison was serious about the donut eating contest and did a very good job. She's the one that has the new brother!

Baby Reesie dressed as a lady bug.

Beautiful 'witch' Taylor.

Ginny ... the bumble bee.


Logan ... the scarey skeletor and the evil mother in the background!


Spencer had removed his football uniform...


Ethan as Luke Skywalker ... did I say that right??? You can tell I don't know too much about Star Wars.

Ben --- the army guy!

And the grand prize winner for the best costume goes to Bryant ... the Oompaloompa. He's really kneeling on his shoes. That's why he looks so short. He's actually taller than me now!

Granny dressed up as the Divine Miss M. Who is the Divine Miss M? Years ago, Nat and Angie filmed a home video. Angie dressed up in the dress I'm wearing, a red wig, long earrings, red vest, and sang "Going to the Chapel" while Nat accompanied her on the drums, as Prince Eddie. Nat was dressed in Lynn's suit, cowboy boots, blonde wig and drawn-on moustache and side burns. It actually was hilarious and if I could figure out how to put the clip on my blog I would do it. Maybe the family just has a warped sense of humor and that's why we think it's so funny. When I went to the family Halloween party I came into the home with my microphone singing, Going to the Chapel". All of my kids knew exactly who I was, but the in-laws and grand-kids looked at their granny and said, "Who are you supposed to be?"

Look at my beautiful princesses. Ellie as Alice in Wonderland. (I made her costume, by the way...), Addison as Rapunzel (Ginger made her costume ... isn't it beautiful?) and Hannah as Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. (Disney made her costume!)

Mother and baby came home today. They had to spend an extra day in the hospital because of baby's jaundice. Can't wait to see how I can help out tomorrow!

Love to All!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm a New Granny!!!






If this is what Heaven is like ... I want to go there!

My daughter Laurel went to the hospital last night in preparation for being induced this morning around 8:00 a.m. Lo and behold I got a phone call at 6:00 a.m. this morning saying that she was at a '5' and I could come to the hospital. I fussed around and got ready, thinking I would have hours before Liam Scott King entered this world. An hour later I got another call saying that she was ready to push and the Dr. was on her way. I flew to the hospital, watching for cops in my rear view mirror, found a convenient parking spot and rushed into the lobby, breathlessly asking for Labor and Delivery. The elevator whisked me up to the 4th floor and I entered Labor and Delivery. They told me which room the Kings were in and I entered to find my beautiful, darling girl sitting up in bed smiling at me. I said, "I'm too late, aren't I?" She grinned and said, "Nope ... the Dr. hasn't arrived yet!" I broke down and cried! I felt like such a loser mother driving to the hospital thinking that I missed the birth of another grandson. I've witnessed the births of all of my grandbabies, except one, Angie's youngest. He came into the world too fast and I couldn't drive fast enough to make it in time. But today was wonderful. Everything worked out in my favor. After the Dr. arrived Laurel gave a few pushes and Liam entered the world quietly. The nurse had to gently rub his back to get his little lungs working. Soon we heard that familiar little squawk above the sobs of his mother. What a wonderful experience. I should have been a Labor and Delivery nurse. I would have loved that job!!!

Liam weighed in at 7# 12 oz., 21 1/2" long. He has black curly hair and is as cute as a bug. Mom is doing wonderful and baby was taking to nursing when I left.

I'll post some pics of our family Halloween party later!