Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I am currently in three different studies and have been completely amazed at how for four weeks in a row these totally unrelated studies (except that they are Christian based) have had almost EXACTLY the same thing to say to me.  Two Sundays in a row, I had to show the person in the pew next to me the note I had written just a few hours earlier.  The note was almost word for word what the pastor had just said!

Now there could be all sorts of arguments of why this is happening. One is that it's what I'm wanting to hear. I KNOW this isn't true because I am being filleted open and left like a pile of goo on the floor.  Definitely NOT what I want to hear. I prefer to believe it is God operating in my life.  This last week a note that I had taken in my "Sunday morning conversations" and was repeated at my church service has given me an image of what God is doing in my life at the moment.

The note: Repentance only occurs when we change our direction.  Turning to face God and move in his direction. Recognize God's voice and realize when you're not going in his direction.  Like the small child who is wondering around and his daddy calls his name. The child may not hear his name right away before turning and running to Him.

The image: Picture a little girl playing in the sandbox at the park.  Her daddy sits on a nearby park bench.  She is busily working on her task at hand.  She is building a sandcastle. In her mind, she is going to build the most beautiful castle, with turrets and a moat. But it's a sandbox, the sand keeps drying out and crumbling. She takes her little bucket, runs to the water fountain to get a trickle of water. Then runs back to the sandbox.  Back and forth she goes.  Then she concentrates on the task again, building, building.  Every once in a while she looks up to see her daddy sitting on the bench, smiling at her.  "He must be pleased with me", she thinks. She gets back to work. She hears her daddy say her name.  She looks up. He speaks but she can't hear him so she assumes that he is speaking praise at her busy work. He motions for her to come to him to hear what he said. She doesn't have time,  she's busy. Argh a turret crumbled, dry sand again. She runs, runs, and runs; to the fountain, to the sandbox, to the fountain, to the sandbox.  Daddy says something, he must be encouraging her to run faster. Getting back to work, so close, just a couple of more rooms, then the moat... She hears her daddy say her name.  Looking up she sees him walking to her. NO! I'm not done yet! As he gets to her and holds out his hand he says, "Take my hand, let's go to the beach where the sand is better for building sandcastles and I will help you build it.  The sandbox is too little for me to build in." She reaches up and takes her daddy's hand as they head to the beach.

I'm skipping along, holding my daddy's hand, heading to the beach!
I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What a Year!

As usual, we have had a busy year, with people going here and there.

John still lives here in Phoenix. He did spend six weeks this summer in Kansas, helping my brother, Bob. Jordan finished out at Scottsdale Community College and is now completing his BFA in dance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Jacob is living with his Inline Speed Skating coach in San Jose, CA and attending De Anza College majoring in Photography. Jared is still attending Arizona Connections Academy, online school. He is busy with field trips, guitar lessons and AZ Ascenders rock climbing team. Jeff is still working in Long Beach, CA at Boeing. I am still running from place to place as the zoo keeper and in the mean time running our business.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this will be a VERY long blog, here are links to a year of photo albums on facebook.

Christmas 2011
Was this really a year ago??

JordanDanielsDance Film Shoot
February 5th, 2012 Phoenix, AZ. Film shoot for JordanDanielsDance. Jordan's first film project, my first time as a producer! You can watch it here: DRUG

Riparian Preserve
January 27th, 2012 Gilbert, AZ. Arizona Connections Academy Field Trip.

Flandrau Science Center
February 1, 2012 Tucson, AZ. Another Arizona Connections Academy field trip.

February 3rd, 2012 Sunrise Ski Resort. Would you believe another Arizona Connections Academy field trip? Skiing babee!

March 17th, 2012 Anaheim, CA. Spring Break at Disneyland. We had a trip of "firsts". We have been going to Disneyland for years but we discovered there were many things that we have never done. So we DID them! See my additional thoughts on this trip at: The Disney World


Jared's 10th Birthday
April 9th, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ. Doing what else? Climbing!!

AZR Ropes Comp
April 14th, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ. Jared's first ropes comp.

Spring Leadership
April 20th, 2012 Spokane, WA. Spokane Spring Leadership.

For details and my thoughts on the next 3 albums see my blog: Three Weddings and a Funeral
Kansas Trip
April - May, 2012 Paola, KS. Went back to Kansas for 3 weeks to help out my folks!
Van Omen Wedding
May 18th, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ. It was so wonderful to be a part of David and Cassie's special day!Daddy
May, 2012 Paola, KS. Pictures of events around Daddy's passing.

The events of the next 5 albums are in: It's Monday so this must be Kansas
Derek's Wedding
June 16th, 2012 Camp Verde, AZ. When did they grow up???
Life's a Beach
June, 2012 Huntington Beach, CA. Finally made it to the beach...
Trophy Meet
June 23rd, 2012 San Jose, CA. Southwest Pacific League Trophy Meet.
Indoor Nationals
July, 2012 Lincoln, NE. USARS Indoor National Championships.
Daniels' Reunion 2012
July 21st-23rd, 2012 Junction City, KS. Just a few pictures from the 2012 reunion. So blessed that God saw fit to put me in this family!

I blogged about the next week of journeys in: It's Tuesday so this must be Colorado
Friend Day
July 25th, 2012 Kansas City, KS. I got to spend the day shopping & visiting with one of my lifetime best friends. We hadn't seen each other in probably 20 years but it seemed like yesterday! Some friends truly are for a lifetime!

Blogs on ODN and SMU are: Half Way! and By the Numbers (which also summarizes our travels)
August, 2012 Colorado Springs, CO. Outdoor Nationals World team Trials 2012. Plus the activities around that... Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Garden of the Gods, Josh & John's and of course four square!
August 16th, 2012 Dallas, TX. Taking Jordan to college at Southern Methodist University.

AZR Ascenders Mini Comp
September 22nd, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ. Jared Rock Climbing Mini-Comp. He got 3rd place!

Kartchner Cavern
September 28th, 2012 South of Tucson, AZ. Arizona Connections Academy Field Trip to Kartchner Cavern. It was definitely worth the drive. One of the best caves I have ever toured!!! Being a living wet cave really makes a difference in the formations.

Fall Festival
October 12, 2012 Gilbert, AZ. Arizona Connections Academy Fall Festival.

This is Halloween
October 31, 2012 Phoenix, AZ. This is Halloween, this is Halloween... Jared carved his first Jock-O-Lantern.

Class Day
November 5th, 2012 Cave Creek, AZ. Library, lunch and hike with classmates at Arizona Connections Academy.

USAC Local Bouldering Comp - Picture above.
November 11, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ. So proud of Jared! Finishing 9th in the USAC local comp.

November 22nd, 2012.  3 days of eating, family and friends all make for a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

Another Mini-Comp
December 1st, 2012 Scottsdale, AZ.  Another mini-comp with Jared's team.  This was a ropes, 3 best climbs competition.

December 9th, 2012, Hemet, CA.  Tinsel Speed Skate in Hemet CA. 1/2 marathon skate on the front end of the Tinsel Triathlon. It was a beautiful day and as usual a fun event. Jacob won in his age division.
As I said, "What a Year!"  We will actually have all of the boys home for Christmas!  But they will be going their separate ways for New Year's!  I wish a very blessed Christmas and a special New Year to all my friends and family.
As for me...
I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Did Maybe Become No?

The other day my yoga teacher was talking about “maybe”.  She said to allow your body the “maybe” of going there.  Then she pointed out that as soon as she said “maybe” did we clinch our teeth a little?  Is “maybe” a negative word? What does “maybe” actually mean? It is an adverb that means, “perhaps; possibly”.  But we all know that maybe means NO!

So when did maybe become no?

As a child, we hear our moms say “maybe” all the time. 
“Can we go to the park?”
“Yipee! Mommy promised that we can go to the park!”
“I said maybe, we’ll see.”
“Yipee! We might go to the park!”
As a mom, I say “maybe” more than I should.  I learned years ago that it would get the kids to stop bugging me if I delayed an answer that I didn’t want to give.  “Maybe” they would forget about it later.  I think it is that constant exchange between parents and children that solidifies “maybe means no”.  But when does it happen?
There is a scene in the movie “Finding Never Land”
J.M. Barrie: [watching George react to the knowledge that his mother is seriously ill]
Magnificent. The boy is gone. In the last 30 seconds... you became a grown-up.
There is a moment when we lose that child.  I think it is that childlike faith that all children have.  In Peter Pan, it’s the lost boys fighting pirates with no fear of dying and believing in fairies.  If you go to a kindergarten class and ask the children, “Who can speak Japanese?” every child will raise their hand.  They “can” speak Japanese if they learn it.  When did we stop believing that we could speak Japanese?  When I was little, my brother, Bob (who is 15 yrs. older than me) and his friend, Jim, used to play catch with me.  Literally, with me, they would throw me back and forth.  I always loved it! “Throw me, throw me” I would squeal!  When did I lose the faith that if I was thrown, I would be caught?  When did I stop trusting?

The Bible talks about having a “childlike” faith.  God reminds us that we should all have that kind of faith.  We should squeal to God, “throw me, throw me” and trust that God will catch us.  For now, I’m going to work on ”maybe”, every time I hear it, I’m going to replace it with “perhaps; possibly”.  I’m going to TRY to stop using it with my children when I actually mean “no”.  I’m going to try and have faith and hope like Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…Yeah!”

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Monday, August 20, 2012

By the Numbers

Well, I am finally back in Phoenix! But I had another little 2,100 mile trip tacked on to my travel plans.  More on that later...
Jacob finished up Outdoor Nationals strong.  He placed 5th in the 10,000m point race on the road, which placed him 10th in the nation and put him on National Team.  Nas finished as an alternate to the World Team and Lani skated strong on the road.  Because there weren't any rain delays, we had a day to just hang out.  We went to the Cheyene Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO which I highly recommend.  It is one of the most interesting zoos I have ever been to.  However, it does require walking many steep walkways and stairs. 
On Saturday, August 11th, I made the trek to Denver to take Jacob, his coach and teammate back to the airport.  Jared and I spent the rest of the day visiting Garden of the Gods.  Sunday, August 12th, we packed up and took off driving to Phoenix.  The drive was one of the easiest yet.  Normally a 14 hour drive, including stop times, we made it with very few stops and made it in 12 hours!  Side note: 8/12/12 was my 29th wedding anniversary.

While we were on the road, my 22 year old son, Jordan, was accepted into the dance program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, classes start August 20th.  In talking with him, we were going to leave on Wednesday, so I had 2 days to turn around and leave again.  As we got packing and figuring out the drive times, we realized we needed to get on the road sooner.  We mapped out the trip, and saw that El Paso would be the perfect stopping point.  As chance would have it one of my dearest friends lives in El Paso.  I gave her a call and she was more than happy to let us crash there Tuesday night. 
Jordan's friend Michael went with us to help with the moving.  We took off around noon on Tuesday, stopping in El Paso and arriving in Dallas on Wednesday.  Thursday we were able to move Jordan into his apartment and walk around the campus.  SMU is a beautiful 100 year old campus and the Meadows School looks wonderful.  Michael and I headed back to El Paso on Friday.  Michael got word that night, he didn't need to go into work on Saturday.  This meant we were able to sleep in and just laze around Saturday morning and visit.  I was so wonderful to see my friend, Lena after many years.  I finally got to meet her husband and 6 year old son!  She has such a beautiful home and her family were such gracious hosts.  We headed home around noon on Saturday.

Amazingly, I will be home for seven weeks!!!  I have basically been on the road for 4 months!  Wow! That's hard to believe!
Here are some of the numbers:
Left on April 25th back home August 18th - 16 1/2 weeks or 116 days.
25 traveling days (23 driving, 2 flying)
17,383 miles on my truck
36 days at home
55 days at other places
31 days of school while on the road (finishing one school year and started the next)

10 hotels
3 friends/relatives homes
2 hospitals
11 states (CA, AZ, NM, CO, NE, KS, IA, MN, MO, OK, TX)

3 visits to Josh & John's (best ice cream EVER)
Can't even begin to count restaurants... some notables:
2 hospital cafeterias actually really good food
Fargo's Pizza in Colorado Springs
G&R's authentic mexican food in El Paso
A micro brewery in Minneapolis, GREAT burgers in an amazing old building
Smokin' Bob's Bar B Que (a little partial since it is my brother) His brisket and beans are literally award winning!
I am SOOOOO done with Applebee's and Taco Bell for a loooooong time!!!
6 lbs lost... REALLY!?!?!

3 skating competitions (Trophy Meet, Indoor Nationals, and Outdoor Nationals)
21 individual races plus relays
3 moves (Jared moved bedrooms, Jordan moved home and then to Dallas)
2 weddings attended
1 Family Reunion
1 Business Convention
1 Funeral
2 zoos (Lincoln and Cheyene Mountain)
lots and lots of visiting

65 relatives at Daniels family reunion
3 cousins I never knew, Jim, Irvine and Jay
9 friends I haven't seen in YEARS Barb, Tom, Kris Ann, Derek & Sharon, Randy, Karen & Tessa, and Lena
10 relatives I haven't seen in YEARS Vivian, Sarah, Elle, Jenny, JT, Bob, Cheryl, Janie, Mom and Dad.
2 in-laws I hadn't met yet, Keith and Matt
Many, many friends and relatives, old and new, from all over!
I can't even begin to count the number of hugs, laughs and tears.

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half Way!

Today is an "off day"!  That's a good thing!  It means we are "off" from skating today.  Outdoor Nationals (ODN) World Team Trials has a track and a road portion.  Track is a 200 meter concrete banked track and Road is a 500 meter laid out track, usually in a parking lot.  There are multiple races at each venue.  Each skater is given points for their placement in an event.  15pts for first, 12pts for second, 10pts for third etc. down to 8th place. The points then determine the USA World Team.  They build in a "rain day" or "off day" between the two parts.  Luckily, we haven't had any rainouts, however it would be nice to have some cooler weather.  It was brutally hot out there yesterday.  I think we only had a high of 93 however, we are in a concrete dish with no shade!!

The exciting news!! Jacob got his first ODN medal.  He finished with a bronze in the 10,000m point/elimination race.  There are 40 guys in his age division?  They put all 40 on the line and they have to duke it out for 50 laps, going approximately 25 mph on inline skates wearing nothing but a helmet and spandex.  It's a little like NASCAR with human bodies.  A point/elim race is starting at lap 5 they ring a bell, it's a point lap, they have one lap to race for the finish line, the person who crosses first gets 2 points, second gets 1 point.  The bell rings again and it's an elimination lap, they have one lap and the person who crosses last is eliminated.  This continues every other lap.  The final placements are based on how many points you can rack up during the race without being eliminated.  Oh, I did mention it's brutally hot out there, right!?!?  This race is considered to be the most difficult race because there is no resting.

I think one of the best parts of this win was the number of people who came over to congratulate Jacob, and his coach Deb.  They all went on about what a great kid he is and how deserving he was of this win.  As a mom, that was music to my ears, that other people think highly of my child.  One of the Master Women skaters has been reporting on the event.  She did a really nice write up on her blog of Jacob's race.  Here is the link: As I Was Saying... ODN Day 2

After this great finish, we had high hopes for Jacob's 15,000m elim race yesterday.  Sadly, he didn't do as well.  He skated a smart race but when it got down to 10 skaters the guy who was in 10th wedged him out on the corner.  The other skater got DQed but by then Jacob was eliminated.  So he finished 9th for that race which is one place out of points. 

So at the half way point, Jacob is 9th in points for World Team.  Jacob's teamates are doing well.  Lani made it to the final of the 1000m sprint giving her 2 points and placing her around 12th overall.  Nas placed 2nd in the 10,000m pt/elim and 5th in the 15,000m elim. I believe this places her in 6th overall for World Team.  The top six skaters make team with skaters number 7th & 8th as alternates. 

Tomorrow we start on road, chasing more points.

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Tuesday so this must be Colorado

As I write this I'm sitting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Since my last posting...

Tuesday July 24th, I took Jeff, Jacob and Kylee to fly out of Kansas City International Airport. Jeff went back to Long Beach, Kylee to Rialto, and Jacob to San Jose.

On Wednesday my dear friend, Karen Brundridge came to KC to visit with me. This came about because of Facebook. I posted an album on Facebook of old high school pictures that mother gave me when I was in Paola in May. Many were of Karen and me, in our baton twirling outfits. I, of course, tagged her. These started a conversation that went something like, "I miss you", "It's been too long", "We should get together", "I'll be in KC in July", "I'll be there!” As it turns out, we were staying, 1/2 mile from her oldest daughter's apartment. Here's the pic: Karen, Me and Tammie.
I can't exactly remember the last time I saw Karen, I think it was around the time Mom and Dad moved away from Galena (our hometown). That would have been 21 years ago!!! Karen and I were best friends in high school. She married right after high school and stayed in the area. So while I was in college, I saw her every time I came home. She was one of my bridesmaids (right after my sister). Her daughter was only a few weeks old at my wedding. Even after we moved to Arizona, we talked on the phone regularly. I can't really say why we lost touch after that. I think we both, got VERY busy with children, changed land lines to cell phones and moved a few times. We found each other again on Facebook recently.

Anyway, we spent Wednesday evening catching up and all day Thursday, doing lunch and shopping on the plaza. It was so much fun! I am still a little amazed at how it didn't seem like we had been apart that many years. Actually, it felt more like last week. Afterwards, I was telling her how funny it is that our lives are so similar and we still just "click" as friends. She said, "Not really, there was a reason we were best friends all those years ago." She's right, some friends are for life whether you're around each other or not. Here's a picture of us at 2am after a full day of shopping AND talking into the wee morning hours!
On with my journeys! I was so wired and wide awake that I decide to throw my suitcase in the truck and head for Minneapolis at 3am Friday. I needed to be there early on Friday and I knew I wouldn't be getting to sleep or getting up, in time to make it. I did get tired in the northern part of Iowa and pulled in a rest area and slept for 2 hours. Here is where I slept; it was the NICEST rest area ever!
I left Jared in KC with John. He got to help John and Uncle Bob (my brother) with some barbeque. Jeff flew into Minneapolis on the Thursday night red eye and landed at 5:30am. When we got in the hotel room we took a long afternoon nap! We were up in time for the evening workshops.

We were in Minneapolis for the "Nelsen Family Reunion" which is a business convention we attend every summer for our Amway business. It was a great weekend, with so much good information. We are so excited about the mobile apps and the technical upgrades to our business website. Plus, we got to hang out with some friends we hadn't seen since last year's event and as always meet some new friends, with all of us having the chance to share ideas and information.

Sunday night, Jeff and I got a bite to eat and then headed back toward KC. We stopped in Des Moines, Iowa and got a hotel room.

Monday morning, July 30th, I drove Jeff back to the KC airport and he flew back to Long Beach. I then drove back to John's hotel. That evening we did some laundry, joined Bob and Cheryl for dinner and packed up.
Tuesday July 31st, John headed back to Phoenix; Jared and I headed to Colorado Springs. John is stopping in Tucumcari, NM. I finally was able to unpack my truck COMPLETELY! The crockpot and boxes of food that I have been hauling from state to state finally will be put to use. This is the last leg of the travels. Tomorrow morning I head to Denver to pick up Jacob, his coach, Deb and other skaters from the airport. Then it is 10 days of skating for Outdoor Nationals! I'll keep you posted...

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Monday so this must be Kansas

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have crazy summer travel plans. It started shortly after I returned to Arizona.

June 15th, 2012
I have been home a week and the pool is looking good! Jeff flies into Phoenix.
June 16th, 2012
Jeff, John, Jared and I drive north to Camp Verde to attend the wedding of a dear family friend, Derek Hinkle! Tom & Kris Ann Hinkle (Derek's parents) were our next door neighbors for years. We raised our kids together. When I first met Derek, he and John (my oldest) were both in diapers. It was a beautiful wedding, despite the heat and it was so wonderful to spend the day with Tom & Kris Ann and other longtime friends, Doug & Jeri Lynn Thompson and Sharron (Tom's sister).
June 17th, 2012
Jeff, Jared and I drive to Long Beach, CA to spend a week at the beach.
June 19th, 2012
John takes off driving for Kansas. When my Dad was in rehab, John had asked if he would be any help around the farm. Dad thought that would be wonderful. Mom and Dad live on a farm however, they don't farm. They rent out the farm land. The immediate property around their house is constantly in need of something, i.e. mowing, repairs to out buildings, fence repainted, trees trimmed etc. When we were back for the funeral, there was discussion about, "what now?" John had already arranged for the time off. He decided to go ahead and come back; even if he didn't do much around the farm he could help my brother with his Barbeque business. That is exactly what he has been doing.
June 22nd, 2012
Jared and I drive to San Jose, CA for Jacob's Speed Skating Trophy Meet. Jeff flies in that night. The meet goes really well. Jacob wins 1st overall for Novice Sr Men for the meet and the season. He also finishes 2nd in the Sr Open for the season!
June 24th, 2012
Jeff, Jacob, Jared and I drive to southern California. We drop Jacob off in Valencia, CA where he meets up with longtime friends, Andrew, KJ and Josh. They went on a, "Graduation Road Trip" starting at Six Flags and going up the California coast. They dropped Jacob back in San Jose. We then drop Jeff back in Long Beach, CA. Jared & I continue on to Phoenix, AZ.
June 25th, 2012
Jared and I arrive home in the early morning. The pool is green AGAIN!!! I drive directly to Mesa in order to help Jordan (#2 son) pack up his apartment to move back home. His apartment contract was up mid-June and he will be going away to school in mid-August. So he is home for 2 months, which worked out well because he can take care of everything while we're gone the rest of the summer. Yes, our summer travels haven't even begun yet!!! At the time, I actually get to stay home for 3 weeks. I de-greened the pool, planted grass on July 4th, Jordan had his wisdom teeth out on the 13th and we had a "Breaking Bad" marathon... all of seasons 2, 3, and 1/2 of 4!
July16th, 2012
Jared and I take off driving for a 4 week trip! First, Lincoln, NE, Jacob is already there watching the World Class and Standard divisions at Indoor Nationals.
July 17th -20th, 2012
Lincoln, NE - We get to watch Jacob skate Indoor Nationals. Thursday afternoon while Jacob had practice, I drove 2 1/2 hours down to Holton, KS to pick up my niece, Elle. I brought her back to Lincoln. On Friday my niece, Sarah, came to watch her cousin skate too! Jacob really enjoyed having his cousins there to cheer him on. They really enjoyed seeing him skate for the first time.
July 19th, 2012
Jeff flies to KC, John picks him up from the airport.
July 20th, 2012
Jeff and John drive to Junction City, KS for the Daniels Family Reunion. Jacob skates his individual events all day. Jacob, Kylee (Jake's girlfriend), Jared and I leave Lincoln at 12:30am for Junction City, KS and the reunion.
July 21st -22nd, 2012
DANIELS FAMILY REUNION! It was a great reunion and it was so fun to have almost all my family together, Jordan had to stay in Phoenix, AZ due to work. :( At the end of the reunion we all drive back to KC.
July 23rd, 2012.... One week down... three to go... It's Monday so this must be Kansas!!!
I'm living on the eighth day, right now!