Thursday, February 26, 2009

aw . . . sweet!

Okay, I can't help it. Anyone who is reading my blog also knows my sister Kathy. She is a sweetheart who wrote the following on my birthday:

If I had a blog (to continue our conversation) what would I write today? Hmmm.....


Karen Janine Lowe Shaffer is my wonderful sister. I love her with all of my heart. I have loved her since the day my mother brought her home from the hospital and she laid in her tiny bassinet in the darkened dining room. When I came home from school I would quietly step in to see her sleeping. When she got bigger, I loved playing with her even before she was old enough to know we were playing. I remember sitting in the cafeteria in 4th grade when a classmate asked me if I had a cat. I said, "No, why?" She said she thought I must have a cat because of the scratches on my face. I said, "No, that's just from my little sister."

When Karen grew older and could control her fingers better we did so much together. We played Spirograph, dipped Easter Eggs, and made wax fingernails from wrapped Gouda cheese at the kitchen table. We played card games and board games, and sang and danced to records in the living room. We took walks and rode our bikes in the neighborhood, raked leaves in the backyard, and reluctantly weeded the beans in the garden. We looked forward to watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island every Saturday night on TV.

Even though Karen and I were 8 years apart, I loved her like a friend. It was fun to take her to Taco Bueno or anywhere, but especially Taco Bueno. We also went to Lake Fairfax on hot summer days. Sometimes we'd stay up late on summer nights and eat orange popsicles and play Racko. Good times! I don't know why it was so fun, but it was.

When I went away to college I felt terrible homesickness. I hated to leave her at home. I thought about how lonely she must be, left, the last child at home, and how I hated to do that to her. It took a while, but somehow we both made the adjustment. As life does, it has seperated us and brought us back together several times. We still love being together, although we don't have the opportunity nearly enough. But because we have always been so close we are permanently a part of each other. Time and distance apart don't hurt so much. Our children even feel a special closeness to each other, which is precious to both of us.

I am so glad to have Karen forever. She is my sister and my friend. I am thankful for her and for our love for each other.

Happy 42nd birthday, Karen! You are so special to me! I love you and thank you for being such a great sister and friend. Have a wonderful day!

All my love,


And here's a little blast from the past:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another year older and wiser(?) too . . .

February means that another year in my life has come and gone. And I'm wearing a new number -- 42. Excuse me, forty-two??? Does that sound weird to anyone besides me? Forty-two is middle-age, right? I thought so.

Something my mom said to me one time many years ago has taken on new meaning over the past few years. She said, "No matter how old I get, I just feel like ME." Now that may sound simple, but stop a moment and give that some thought. You will agree with me, I am certain, that it is actually a very profound statement.

I have been feeling so very blessed lately. No, every single thing in my life is not perfect, and I am certainly not perfect. But wow, I am incredibly blessed. One of the ways that I am not perfect is that I am very good at taking wonderful things for granted. Things that, if they were suddenly gone, would just rock my world to destruction. A few things off the top of my head: my husband, my children, my friends. My testimony. My extended family. Good health. Life in America. I have been blessed with so much, I occasionally worry that I am not doing enough with that stewardship. I like simplicity. I like time to think. I do not eagerly look for opportunities to complicate or busy my life beyond what is needful. So sometimes when I look around and see people doing amazing things with far-reaching effects, I wonder if I am missing the boat or being selfish. The things I do, I do fairly well. But perhaps I should stretch my circle of influence wider. Or become passionate for something outside my little world.

This post is getting weird, but like my wise sister Kathy mused, "who is the audience for a blog anyway?" Mostly just me, I think. So, weird it can be.

Snapping back into life at the moment, I will post a few basketball pictures. Don't ask me why, but I don't have a single one of Brennan playing varsity. Oh well, it was only a dream come true for him that I decided not to document. There's always next year. . . But somehow I did capture some of Austin's 7th grade season. His team ended up taking the league championship, so you can imagine it was some pretty good times.

Getting a pep talk:

Ready for action:

Tight defense!

Hey, we just won the championship!!

Go Eagles! This is a great bunch of boys, four of whom are LDS. How cool is that?

Now, like I said, I have no pictures of Brennan playing Varsity. He really did make the team, I promise. He has, however, asked me to put more exciting pictures of him on my blog (he must be 17), so okay, here's a good one from last summer:

And not to be forgotten, Kristi and Dallin still live here too. Dallin's playing community basketball, but to be honest it's all I can do to stay awake for his games, let alone snap too many pictures. But tonight Dallin will earn his Bear badge at the Blue & Gold Dinner, so here's a cub scout picture of him:

Kristi's driving up a storm in her cute sports car we call a Suburban, but no pictures of that either. So how about this one?

Hard to believe my beautiful baby girl is almost 16. I love Kristi!!

Okay, I need to get on my treadmill. I seriously ate leftover birthday cake for breakfast and the longer I sit here the more I am feeling it stick to my ribs (and hips and thighs).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog vs. Facebook

Okay, here's the thing. Last week my BFF from high school emailed me to say she had joined Facebook, and lured me in by saying that she was reconnecting with several high school friends there. With that as my motivation, I got sucked in, and after a couple days of 'buyers remorse' (feeling a little uncomfortable about being out there in cyberspace), I have now decided I like it a lot! It's fast, easy, and of course interactive. My next mission is to find out how to search for my long-lost BYU friends. Anyway, I'm liking it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Still alive

Starting this blog is becoming one of those decisions I am maybe, possibly regretting!! It's something that I almost never think about, but when I do, there's this nagging feeling like it's yet another thing I should be doing better! Who needs that? My biggest stumbling block is the pictures. I am just not savvy with the digital photo thing (uploading, downloading, managing them all, knowing how to access them) that everyone else can do in their sleep. And I never want to make the time to learn. So then I don't post because who wants to read a post without a picture (not me). Okay, that's my rambling for today. With no picture.