Auld Lang Syne?

Harry: What does this song mean? For my whole life I don't know what this
song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot". Does that mean we
should forget old acquaintances or does it mean if we happen to forget them we
should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them!?
Sally: Well may be it just means that we should remember that we forgot them
or something. Anyway it's about old friends.

These lines are from one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally - this movie had many great lines that go down in the annals of moviedom. But particularly, as we look towards New Year's Eve, and the beginning of a New Year, may we remember friends that we have had who may now be gone, friends who surround us and are a daily source of inspiration and support to us, and strangers who may become friends to our future.

My Wishes for You in 2009 ...

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline

and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success

and may happiness slap you across the face.

May your tears be those of joy &

May the problems you had be forgotten

and your home be your Sanctuary!

In simple words ....
May 2009 be the best year of your life!


Huh? What? You mean I missed it all?

See Sue {Oh! you don't see Sue?}--she is so tired of the holidays! Sue has been sick with the stomach flu since last Sunday. Everything she has eaten is recycled ever so quickly! See Kloyie and Skyla build a gingerbread house with Curt and Matt-Sue is mysteriously absent. See Sue's photos of the annual Christmas party that Heather took because Sue was laying on the couch or the bathroom floor for all festivities! See how cute the grandkids are...they love Christmas. They love Santa. They love performing the Nativity story for Aunt DiAnne and Uncle Glen & Co. They love that Grandma is quietly composing herself and her digestive system by sipping some hot chicken bouillon. See Sloane open her presents Christmas morning? See no pictures of Connor? See Sue take down Christmas on the 26th? She's so done with Christmas...music is off the blog, lights & wreaths are packed away, and it's time for SPRING!

Hoping you all had a beautiful Christmas, and that you are anticipating a wonderful New Year. Blessings of Love from our family to yours.


Flying with Eagles....

Taylor is the son of Tom & Teri and grandson of Glen &DiAnne.

Taylor's Eagle Project is a stone cairn which houses a time capsule and a "Cache to Eagle" geo-cache. The geo-cache is kind of like a treasure hunt where scouts will go online and get coordinates that with the help of a GPS they'll find their way to the cairn. Once there, they'll sign in and be led to all the other Eagle projects around the church grounds. Apparently there is a big geo-cacheing community and they go hunting these things up in the mountains, around town and all along the Wasatch front.

The time capsule contains things from our family, the church congregation, the city, etc. Examples of items were: key to the city from Fruit Heights along with history and city mtg. minutes, church history and photos, newspapers from the recent election, Grandma Lola's jello mold and recipes, letter from grandma and grandpa, happy meal toys and a pile of credit card offers with commentary by Tom on all of society's mis-steps. Basically a bunch of stuff that will either confuse or fascinate folks when it's opened in 75 years! It also contains Taylor's journey through his Eagle with print and photo. These were all sealed in plastic and put into a huge duffle bag that was then placed into the cairn.

He had a lot of help and used lots of skills he didn't know he had. We collected rocks from around the church property to cover it and the plaques were donated by a guy who had Taylor help him make them. The structure is finished and tonight he will set up the coordinates online. We'll celebrate with his ceremony in January.

Congratulations Taylor on this accomplishment-we know it required much more work and effort than just what you put into this project.


6 Days and Counting....

This is about the best mantra for the Christmas Season that I've heard:

Something they want, Something they need, Something to wear, and Something to read

Happy Birthday, Gary!

There is something about coming through the tail end of a tornado-that gives you pause, and makes you count your blessings. The idea that something can creep into your life, and take a hold of every waking hour, every day, every week for months is both frightening and humbling. Such has been the last few months for Gary and Heather.

I just want to wish Gary a very Happy Birthday; and let him know how proud we are of him, and how thankful we are for his strength and courage. Here's hoping and praying that the new year will bring you all that you hope and wish for.

Heather and Gary would also like me to thank all the family and friends for their concern and support during this difficult time. They are especially grateful for keeping them in your thoughts and prayers, and ask that you continue to do so. We know without a doubt, that prayer has been the thing that has brought about the miracle of healing and the knowledge that 'this too shall pass'.

We love you guys....


What started out yesterday as a birthday catchup celebration for 4 nieces ended up being a gab-fest and sounding board for everyone's ailments - And to top it off 2 of the 4 birthday girls weren't able to make it! I guess this gives us an excuse to do it again. We do have Teri's and Michele's birthdays coming up. We met at Applebee's and had a delicious lunch - a few of them had the French Onion soup to warm up their innards, as there was an Arctic wind a wailing. Little Haddie entertained us by putting stickers all over her face and in her hair, and Casey sat quietly honing his skills at the gameboy. We asked him if he was getting tired of coming to lunch with all us old ladies - no comment, just a smile. He is such a cute guy and was very excited when his Mom left and came back with a gingerbread house to put together. I wish I had taken pix - even brought my camera, but completely forgot until we were all getting up to leave.

It is so much fun to be with this group and engage in the holiday spirit - even if only for an hour! Happy belated birthdays to Janette, Leanne, Clydene, and Cheryl.


Happy Birthday, Shari!

See what I mean about Dec. birthdays? With the hub-bub of shopping, baking, cooking {all of which I don't do!}, concert attending, parties, etc. I neglected to wish my DIL birthday greetings on the 14th! She is a whirlwind of activity and ambition and keeps her two guys well in tow.

Hope you had a great day and that your new year will bring all that you hope and wish for.


Happy Birthday Greetings, Christmas Cheer, and all that Good Stuff!

Jeff, Glen and Tom at Shaylee's wedding in October 2008

You've heard the saying 'a day late and a dollar short' - well, I want to wish BIL Glen and Cheryl a Happy Birthday. It seems that in the chasm of holiday spirit, their birthdays sometimes get tucked away in the corner as an, "OH Yeah! BTW, hope you had a nice birthday"!

I met DiAnne & Glen after they had dinner and we attended a community chorale program the night of his birthday. It was directed by a gal that grew up in the same neighborhood in Layton as us. And last night, DiAnne invited me to take Glen's place for the Christmas program at the Conference Center in SLC. Can I just say I felt like Charlie Bucket winning the lucky golden ticket for this! Believe it or not, it's the first time I've actually seen/heard the Tabernacle Choir sing, other than TV; and the first time I had been in this wonderfully architected building -- what a massive ediface, with such amazing sound capabilities, and beautiful decor. The spirit and sounds of Christmas lifted my somewhat heavy heart, and the guest artists, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Herrmann were inspiring. Thanks so much DiAnne, for inviting me to go.


Beauty from Within...

by Audrey Hepburn

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry

People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed. Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands - one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. And the beauty of a woman only grow with passing years.


What's on Your Christmas List?

I picked up an excellent article to read the other day, that addressed the issue of how to take control of the holiday season, without allowing it to take control of our life! We all get caught up in the gift buying, the baking and cooking, the parties, and forget sometimes that it really is about spending quality time with the ones we love. And with the economy pinching our pocketbooks, maybe we should remember that the first Christmas 'came without ribbons - it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags' as we are reminded by the Grinch.

If you're feeling like you're spread too thin: 1} Narrow your focus of the things that you feel just need to get done. 2} Don't make it worse by stressing over your productivity. 3} PLAN early for the tasks at hand. 4} Don't be afraid to say 'NO' when you feel you can't do more. 5} Prioritize your day - work at work, and enjoy your holiday with friends and family. Don't mix the two, or you will be less effective and joyful at both.

If we de-stress our daily lives, we will enjoy the holiday more, and be more willing to give the ultimate gift - that of our time, our love, and our devotion to the true meaning of Christmas.

So, let's everyone take a deep breath . . .



Gary {our son-in-law} is your average 31 year-old guy – active in sports, hard-working at his job, loving husband to Heather and doting daddy to Taylor and Weston, fastidious about yardwork, home projects, spending time with his family, and – Oh yes! Fighting an aggressive form of cancer known as Burkitt’s Lymphoma; it's hard for me to even write that word, and it's almost if I don't say it .... it isn't so. But it is, and it's a battle.

He was diagnosed at the end of Sept. 2008, and quickly went from going to work each day, to going in for blood tests, biopsies, CT scans, bone marrow samples, lumbar punctures, all of which help determine the type of lymphoma and how far it has spread in the body. This info was then used to help decide which treatment is most appropriate for him. He started the first round of chemo in October. He is now on the 2nd regimen, and is responding well to it. If it is successful, there is almost a 90% chance that he will be cured – not in remission, but CURED! That is what all of us are hoping, praying, and depending on.

Burkitt’s lymphoma is a type of B-cell lymphoma. In the Western world, the most common symptom is an abdominal swelling that starts in the bowel. Burkitt’s lymphoma may also affect other organs such as the eye, the ovaries, kidneys, and glandular tissue such as the breast, thyroid or tonsil. It may also affect the lymph nodes or bone marrow. Some people experience a loss of appetite/weight loss and fatigue. For practical purposes, non-Hodgkin lymphomas are divided into two groups: low- and high-grade. Low-grade lymphomas are usually slow-growing, and high-grade lymphomas grow more quickly. Burkitt’s lymphoma is a high-grade lymphoma. This means that it is faster-growing and usually needs prompt treatment with chemotherapy.

Gary is on an A B schedule, and each schedule lasts 21 days. On the A schedule he spends most of his days in the hospital, and on schedule B he gets 4 to 5 different types of chemo a day for 7 days straight. “It pulls the life out of you”, Gary says.

Gary will be spending his birthday and most likely Christmas in the hospital this year. Gary is halfway done with his regimen but we still have ‘til the end of January before he gets to stay home for good (cross your fingers). With this type of lymphoma you have to hit it fast and hit it hard. Gary spends most of his days lying flat, because of such bad migraines that make him nauseous. The migraines are from the many spinal taps he has to have. He never gets a chance to build up fluid before they take it from him. It causes the brain to sag and leaves you with the worst headache you’ve ever had. He will have 8 total spinal taps. 3 with schedule A and 1 with schedule B.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are being viewed in a new light - we're focusing on what's important. We're not worrying so much about getting Christmas lights up, or the marathon shopping trips, all the cooking and baking, or whether there is a gift for each neighbor. With that said, I would like to invite any of you that would like to donate to a fund raiser that Gary's co-workers have initiated. They are selling T-shirts and are donating the money to Gary and Heather to help defray hospital bills, and other expenses. You will never understand the meaning of 'catastrophic medical expenses' until you go through something like this!

They come in gray or black, sizes M-L-XL-1X and the cost is $20 per shirt. To order you may contact

Tina at tinah@mountainwesttc.com or call 888-478-2276.