Sunday, November 23, 2014


I don't usually become obsessed with things (please don't roll your eyes if you disagree) but for some reason I did become completely obsessed with the song "Glorious" sung by David Archuleta from Meet The Mormons, after seeing the trailer for it a few weeks ago. SO obsessed, in fact, that I actually went out and bought a ticket to see the movie! And I NEVER go to movies! (and sadly enough, not very often to church either...)

But in a nutshell "Meet The Mormons" is a feature length documentary that looks at the very diverse lives of six devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filmed on location across the globe. Each story paints a picture as rich and unique as the next while challenging the stereotypes that surround the Mormon faith. The film opened in theatres across the United states on October 10th with all net proceeds going to charity.

But this post is not about the movie exactly, though which by the way I thought was extremely well done and the cinematography was incredible!

"Glorious" ~ written by the talented singer-songwriter, Stephanie Mabey from the movie "Meet the Mormons."

And then low and behold, David and Stephanie along with Meet the Mormons gave the fans an opportunity to record their own versions of the song to share with the world, in addition to having a chance to appear in a Fan Supercut Video... Wish I'd have known! The deadline for the entries was November 3rd and I only found out about this a couple of days ago. Not that I would have ever recorded my own version or anything (Good Lord!) but I think I know a couple of other people who might have... ;)

So here I was, snowbound at home last week during "Snowvember of 2014" when I somehow ran across this link... The Fan Supercut Video of "Glorious".

And I guess that's when my REAL obsession kicked in. Because there were 410 entries and I listened to every single one of them! (Or at least 5 seconds of every one of them, because that was more than enough for some, if you catch my drift.) But there were also SO many good ones! Great ones! Unbelievable ones actually. In fact, in my opinion, the final supercut video vastly pales in comparison to some of these individual performances, which I have somehow managed to whittle down to my Top 50!

It was really difficult to choose which ones to actually embed in this blog and so at times I just had to take the eeny, meeny, miny, moe approach. But I really, really love all the ones that I ended up with. It's just "So Amazing" to see what every unique individual came up with. It makes the lyric to this song even that much more meaningful.

If you'd like to watch all of my picks (which I really hope you will!) just go here to the The Supercut Video and you will see them all listed to the right and sorted by entry number... Sorry I didn't have the time to create a link to every single one of them. *g* But my obsessions only go so far...

By entry number:


#10 Hannah M - Bountiful, Utah

#17 Stephanie A - Lindon, Utah

#20 Yahosh B - Spanish Fork, Utah
#21 Halayna A - Mechanicsville, Virginia
#24 Sandra T - Gaithersburg, Maryland
#52 Lindsay L - Henderson, Nevada
#53 Grant Z - Provo, Utah
#57 Lucy S - Prosper, Texas

#62 One Voice Children's Choir - Draper, Utah

#67 Reese O - Lehi, Utah
#75 Eric M - West Bountiful, Utah
#83 Dominic B - Bonn, Germany

#85 Clayton and Olivia P - Kansas City, Kansas ♥

#93 Payton K - St. George, Utah
#104 The Five Strings - Nashville, Tennessee
#106 Anika G - Galgary, Alberta, Canada
#120 Fitri A - Malang, Indonesia
#127 Isabelle K - Johnson City, TN
#142 Camille, Candice and Lisa D - California
#143 Stephanie A - Lindon, Utah
#144 - Jimmy H - Chandler, Arizona
#145 Ashley H - Provo, Utah

#147 Abigail L - Bountiful, Utah

#159 Hailee C - Laramie, Wyoming
#178 Caralee W - Mantua, Utah
#179 Shanae D - Cardston, Alberta, Canada
#212 Kara S - Las Vegas Nevada
#227 Kiah W - Las Vegas Nevada
#228 Janie D - Salt Lake City, Utah

#235 Ralph M - Cebu, Philippines

#265 Lexi Walker - Salt Lake City, Utah

#280 Braden R & Jonathan B - Provo, Utah (Definitely one of my favorites!)

#283 Rachel K - San Diego, California currently a student at BYU Idaho (Wow!)

#284 Michelle - Berwyn, Pennsylvania (Oh my goodness!)

#287 Jarna & Dani K - Provo, Utah
#288 Beau S (Sweet!)
#296 Evie C. - Mesa, Arizona
#318 Ganai O - Lehi, Utah

#330 Working With Lemons - Salt Lake City, Utah (Waitforit!..)

#337 Itunu B - Canada

#339 Elenyi - Seli, Desi and Ari

#346 Becca B - Benjamin, Utah

#349 Nathan O - American Fork, Utah

#351 Hoai L - Hanoi, Vietnam (No words..)

#354 Brandon - Syracuse, Utah
#358 Samantha - Boise, Idaho
#388 Hope - Redmond, Washington (Pretty cute)

#390 Teddy W - Somerset, New Jersey (Love this!)

#393 Susan L - In ASL (Speechless!)

#404 Nick S - Spanish Fork, Utah (The guy's incredible! Wish he'd lose the hoodie. :)

#409 PS22 Children's Choir

And finally...
#410 Madelyn M of Firefly - Gilbert, Arizona

So many beautiful voices on this earth!

It's like a symphony!

Just keep listening...

And then... just when I thought the song couldn't be any more beautiful... my beautiful daughters gave it to me for Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Very Best Summer Ever!... Part 2

Well, it's only taken me until November to get this blog posted, and probably because Fall is definitely my busiest (and most stressful) time of year.

And just to prove that point...

What is wrong with this picture?

But back to summer...

Due to my job and yardwork they usually fly so quickly by, not giving me much time to enjoy myself. (Not that I don't enjoy both of them immensely! :) But what I discovered this year was that, by making plans to get outside and do something in the evenings and on weekends, it always just made the days seem to last so much longer and so in a sense seemed to give me much more time.

So anyway.. I'd take really, really long walks every weekend and somewhat shorter walks in the evenings. In the meantime I discovered SO many wonderful paths and trails along the way.

Please see The Very Best Summer Ever! Part 1 :)

And then after that, one thing led to another and I found myself paddling down the Thornapple River several times during the season (which has now led me into a full blown obsession of one day living on the water!)

"Portage-ing" the Ada Dam

Under the Ada Covered Bridge

And let's not forget about that trip to Idaho in June to visit the kids and the grandkids.

And the endless hours of Yardwork

You have to admit though... Isn't it gorgeous???

Last Stop Art Prize! (If you don't know what it is you can click here to read about it.)

Though typically thought of as a Fall event, the weather was so beautifully gorgeous the entire 3 weeks that it's definitely going into the Summer pile.

I think Cheryl and I must have gone down town for hours of exploring artwork no fewer than 10 times! Ok, I exaggerate, but it was a blast!

Infinity Boxes





In fact I got into it so much that I even had my own on-line "List" of all the pieces I voted for.

Here's a picture of me (taken by Cheryl, of course) with the 2014 Winning Entry.

Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha

Anyway... What a great summer it's been and just SO hard to let go of what has been one of the best ones in a really, really long time.

I had SO much fun and SO many great moments that I had to stick the rest of my pictures into a slideshow.

Summer Slideshow

And now? Welcome to Snowvember!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Very Best Summer Ever!... Part 1

This summer began pretty much exactly the way every single other summer has begun for the 20 years since I moved into this house.

After the spring cleanup, planting and landscaping had all been done and there was by now (June) very little threat of frost (haha), there was never really too much else to do besides, working full time and going to school (when I was going to school) or dealing with transportation logistics for all of my children's summer activities (when I had children at home) and of course mowing my lawn incessantly and neverendingly (which typically means 4 evenings a week plus most weekends). And that was pretty much the extent of it, until of course, the grass would die from heat exhaustion sometime around the end of July and shortly after that the leaves would start to fall and then raking season would begin...

So it was MUCH to my surprise when just today, at the beginning of October, I actually looked back on my summer and exclaimed.. "Wow, that was the Very Best Summer Ever!" (or at least in comparison lately!)

I think my summer actually started in April when I stepped on the scale and realized that I had somehow gained close to 10 lbs over the winter. Now I'm lucky that I'm tall and so 10 lbs on me doesn't make a ton of difference, but it was enough of a wakeup call for me to realize I had to make a few changes.

So the first order of business was to find a couple of good workout videos on YouTube, which believe me there is no shortage of! The problem however is finding good quality ones that work for you! But with a little effort I had finally come up with a collection of short workouts targeting different parts of the body that I could string together in order to get some pretty decent full body workouts. But don't let me kid you, I really hate working out!... and so would do it everyday just as soon as I got home from work, before doing anything else, just to get it over with!

But then of all things, my youngest daughter became a BeachBody Coach and so all of her challenge groups helped a lot with my motivation, and when I went out to Idaho to visit her in July we actually went on a couple of JOGS! I hadn't jogged in YEARS, if ever!... and didn't realize that I even could! Anyway, it felt so great and I really began getting hooked on the idea of it.

Then in July I entered a walking competition at work called "Sole Patrol" which lasted for 8 weeks and earned my team "The Agony of Da Feet" 3rd place out of 24 teams! So needless to say that between July and the end of August I did ALOT of walking. Walking on breaks, walking after work, walking on weekends and of course all that mowing...

But the magical part of the summer, after living in this town for 20 years, was finally discovering the magnificence of all the walking trails which line just about every major street in Ada. So that's where I would spend many, many hours on the weekends. Just me and my little jPod! At times it was euphoric!

I DO have to say though, that it took me a while to purchase her. For the first few weeks I tried jogging with my old 1st generation iPod in my pocket. Then when I bought jogging pants without pockets I tried putting it into a little case that would clip to my waist. I can't tell you how many times it would fly off of me and onto the ground almost taking me with it!

Anyway, I think I pretty much covered every single trail in Ada. But the path to the Cascade Trail (aka The Bloody Trail of Rape and Death) eluded me...

That is, until I bought this...

And then it became my favorite place to jog!

Or at least until my friend Cheryl introduced me to my NEWEST favorite spot!

I don't know what it is about being out there feeling like you're miles and miles away from everything, even when you're really not. I brought my camera out with me a couple of times just in order to capture some of the lush green I knew I'd be missing desperately once the snow began to fall. What follows isn't necessarily what I'd planned to do with those pictures, but I think overall it works and will definitely serve to pull me out of the doldrums come February!

Anyway, whatever this thing is, I am definitely hooked! Or more likely ADDICTED!

The title will make MUCH more sense afterwards... :)

Song Credit: "Overdose" by Little Daylight

P.S. Today Cheryl and I took a 2 hour trek through Seidman Park and in a word... A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!


And so now I am REALLY confused as to what my favorite trail is!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Very Best Summer Ever!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Big Goals (and a little wishlist)...

I think this idea of serious goal making probably all began just about a month ago while driving from Boise to Driggs, Idaho with my daughter Daryn. She's gotten all into this health, fitness, self-improvement stuff lately. No seriously, I am so proud of her!.. and may I add she's done a remarkable job of motivating me as well! Both of my girls, in fact, are such hugely inspirational forces in my life. They completely complete me and never fail to help me remember who I am!

But back to how this all started...

So there we were driving through the less than inspiring landscape between the Western and Eastern sides of the Great State of the Potato when I suddenly learned something of huge value and worth and immediately became extremely INSPIRED. Wanna know what it was? Are you ready?

Ok... here goes. Do you know that if you were offered either One Million Dollars ($1,000,000)... OR just one single penny (.01) which would double in value every day for 30 days, that if you'd chosen the million dollar route you would have been a fool and lost out on over Nine Million Dollars ($9,000,000)???!!!

Go ahead, grab a calculator and check it out for yourself!

So that was basically the major premise of the first chapter of Jeff Olson's The Slight Edge. (What an amazing book!)

Now I realize that it would be nearly impossible for most anyone to be able to double their money like that for 30 continuous days (or at least past day 15), but let's be serious, we're not really talking (literally) about money here, right? But the amazing thing to me is that (if it WERE possible) that it wouldn't be until day 27 (right nearly close to the finish line) that you'd have finally SURPASS (BY FAR!) having chosen the "easy way."

Whoa was I ever hooked!

So then I read The Compound Effect, another book recommended by my daughter, which was pretty much along the same lines and equally inspiring.. the basic premise being that "Every seemingly unsubstantial daily task and habit that we engage in naturally snowballs into either big successes or failures over time." Wow, I just totally paraphrased that and ended up quoting myself! Hee!

So just lately I've been on this quest to break down my larger goals into teeny tiny little pieces of every day habitual actions. And everything seems so simple and much more do-able now!

I started out by listing my long term goals (where I want to be 20 - 30 years from now.)

Then I made another list of what I want to be able accomplish within the next year ~ things that will be in accordance with and that will eventually help lead me towards my ultimate goals.

And then... there are 12 months in every year which will each take some major planning, organization and committment in order to accomplish what I need to achieve on my journey.

Finally... I started using THIS FORM to track the things that I need to do on a daily/weekly basis. And has it been so much fun writing out my week's plans. I look forward to doing it every Sunday!

I just LOVE this quote from Jim Rohn, author of the book "The Art of Exceptional Living"...

"NOW is the time to fix the next 10 years." WOW!!!

MY LONGTERM GOALS ~ or "Where I Want To Be in 20 to 30 Years"

1. Be living a healthy, active life.

2. Have enough money to be able to live well.

3. Own a home in a beautiful setting closer to my kids, small enough to manage but large enough for visitors.

4. Have a "10" relationship with each of my amazing family members.

5. Be in a good place with my spirituality.

6. Have substantial outlets for my talents that can be practiced on a regular basis and shared with others.

7. Be able to travel sufficiently enough to see a few parts of this beautiful country/world that I haven't yet seen.

8. To maintain a clear, intelligent, ever-expanding and TOLERANT mind.

9. If not a soul-mate, then at least have one or two really amazing friends that I can continue to do fun, crazy, 20-Something type things with until the day I'm dead, or something...

10. To leave something of value to my children and grandchildren when I'm gone, both financially and historically.

So that may or may not sound like a whole lot to aim for, but to me it sounds huge! It sounds like a TON to me actually. In fact it sounds PERFECT!

Anyway, I know I still have a long, long, LONG ways to go on this journey. But all of a sudden, I am SO excited!!!



I would just love for each of my children to be able to bring their families to Michigan to visit Grandma's House just one time before I eventually pack up and leave this place... because there is so much do to and experience here and so much beauty!


Don't just think it...INK IT!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yard Blog 2014 (A Working Title)...

Well, another spring has found me working tirelessly in my yard. Not that I mind it, for the most part. There is something so amazing about standing back and looking at your work when you're done.

And that's just the "mowing" part...

I won't go into the over 40 hours spent pulling GARLIC MUSTARD out of my woods but I am now on year 3 of what they say can be a 10-12 year process! :(

So anyway... the purpose of this post is personal really. Not just because I want everyone to see my magnificent yard or give me kudos for all my tireless work. :)

Ya know how every year you think you're going to somehow be able to remember what you were planning on doing next year to fix all those tiny little flaws in your yard/garden? Funny thing is though, no matter how much I think I'm going to remember them, I never do! So I'm getting a jump on it this year. Way to outsmart all you little imperfections! haha!

First Stop: Planter Along Back of House
These pictures were taken about two weeks ago around mid-May. I thought I'd already had a plan in place for this area from last year. Wait, in fact I know I did!

I think those were taken sometime in July, so we'll see what happens with the changes I made. So far I see no sign of my Black Eyed Susans! :( But here's what everything usually looks like around May 31st.

Next Stop: Overgrown Myrtle Patch

This area has become a lifelong process to make it into something even semi-pleasing to the eye...
Years ago it was an attempt at a vegetable garden... but that didn't work out.
I think I've finally tamed it enough to be able to manage it... even though every year these little rogue plants pop up and I can never from year to year remember if they every end up doing anything. They look like they are going to become something at first, but then... Anyway, I really need to remember to pluck those suckers out early next spring if they keep succeeding to fail.

The Two Sides of the Garage are NOT Created Equal

I feel like I've been through this for so many years, yet nothing ever seems to work out. I have two sides of my garage with varying amounts of sun, shade, precipitation and drought and cannot ever seem to remember which is which. After some intensive research I think I've finallly found that Begonia's do pretty well in all conditions. So we'll see and I'll let you know...

Left Side

Right Side

Then there's the area that never seems to be able to grow anything, so I think I'm gonna try Begonia's there too!

The Proverbial Picket Fence

Again, I've tried everything here, so we'll see how these Zinnias work!

And while on the subject of side yard... Those planter boxes have been mostly unsuccessful for anything. Now I'm trying decorative grasses which have done really well in my other areas...though they still don't seem to be doing very well here!

The East Side And now on to the side of my house that I consider my biggest success. Two years ago this space was inhabited by two very sickly evergreen trees (and a ton of garlic mustard!) Everything is doing so very well here. New for this year is the azalea bush in the corner. We'll see if it likes it's new home.


Jalapeno Peppers, Cilantro, Parsley, Chives, Basil, Tomatoes...

Cucumbers, Green Peppers, Strawberries!

So there you have it. This is what everything looks like now (from mid to end of May). We'll see how it all works out so that I'll have a better idea what, if anything, I need to change or add for next year.