I knew we have been really busy but was quite shocked when I finally sat down this morning to try to do an update to this to find that I have not posted anything for 3 weeks. Hard to believe that much time has gone by and this would turn into a book if I tried to post everything that has gone on in that time, but I will post a few highlights and see if we can get back on track here.
These last several weeks have included a myriad of different activities - a few of which were outside the realm of our normal duties. You may remember from earlier posts that Elder Ashton had a grossly swollen leg which doctors blamed on a ruptured Baker's cyst and told him it would probably take care of itself but if it was still a problem in 3 weeks to come back and they would do an ultra sound. Well - it didn't take of itself and so he went back on October 19. He didn't make it back to the office because the appointment took longer than expected - the ultra sound showed their was still fluid in the cyst behind the knee and they discovered another cyst in his calf.....so they decided to drain the two cysts. He said they drained 40cc's from the cysts and that it seemed like a circus because he had five different people come in to take a look at the ultra sound. When he went back for a follow-up this past week, he learned that he was kind of like in the circus freak show because no-one in the practice had ever seen a cyst that big before :) Seems to be doing OK now.
I spent part of the day out of the office on Friday, October 21. Seems this is a busy time of year for everyone so I took a some time and played chaffeur for our son to have a little outpatient procedure - his wife was busy with parent teacher conferences for the parents of her 3rd grade students. Soooooo, mom was busy and dad was a little under the weather. When I dropped him off we found my grandson Duncan almost all packed up and ready to go on his first overnight campout with the scouts. I'd say that is a pretty responsible kid!
Duncan all packed up!
We attended a dinner and social for senior couples that evening. The food was delicious and then we really got silly. This was a challenge for the husbands to wrap their wife's hair with toilet paper so it wouldn't get messed up while she slept (like women used to do in the 60s)
Senior Sister Missionaries all set to hold their hair in place.
On Saturday I took a few minutes away from laundry and grocery shopping to run to Kohls and try to do a bit of Christmas shopping. I was surprised at this "electric car" in the parking lot. Looks to me like it is not much more than a covered, motorized tricycle with the single wheel in back. Pretty funny looking :)
Most afternoons for the last few weeks we have had anywhere from 2 to 10 missionaries in the office taking care of things - doing some work on "My Plan" before they go home, picking up mail, preparing music for the Christmas Concert, etc. This group includes one of the Assistants to the President that went home on October 28, a couple of Zone Leaders and their companions. Great young men!
Sister Weyand sorting music for the missionaries to sing at the Christmas Concert.
Sister Washburn preparing the first draft of the program for the Christmas Concert.
Elder Stone, one of the Assistants to the President who returned home October 29th.
Elder Bowman loves life. He almost always has that smile on his face and it is not uncommon for him to come in the back door, take a little run and slide the length of the counter, stating that he is tired and needs to take a nap ;-)
The four Assistants to the President we had for the last eight weeks - on the left are Elder Feusner from Cody Wyoming area and Elder Broulim from Boise Idaho area. On the right are Elder Stone from Utah and Elder Carattini from Las Vegas. They both returned home at the very end of October and now we have just Elder Feusner and Elder Broulim. Note that the Elders going home are packaging up ties to leave behind for other Elders.
On Thursday morning I didn't wake up early enough to go to the gym but wanted to get a little exercise in so took a walk around the neighborhood. I was taken with this cute and (looked) easy decoration. 5 little witches around a cauldron - witches were just large styrofoam balls on sticks covered in black trash bags with bags tied around the circle to look like they are holding hands. Cute witches hats completed their look.
Imagine that you answer a telephone call and the voice on the other ends says "That thing like a toilet paper tube on our car is leaking oil" No further information. I listened to Elder Ashton try to come up with an appropriate question to try to figure out what was going on and noticed the totally confused look on his face. He finally asked where the tube was located on the car and was told that it was at the back of the car, e.g. the tail pipe. The Sister Missionaries assured him that it was NOT water coming out, it was oil. So he told them to bring the car over in about 30 minutes. In about 15 minutes he got a call explaining that they had checked the oil and found it was yellow and what was coming out of the tube was clear so they guessed it was really water. We had a good laugh over that call and how we were totally stumped.....and I know I will never look at another tail pipe the same again!
On the 26th, Elder Ashton had a cataract removed from his right eye. He said it was pretty painful for a day or two but seems to be doing much better now. We did get some free entertainment as we sat waiting for him to get called back for surgery. There was another older man in there who had long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail and he was really nervous about the surgery so he was talking loudly saying he should have worn his heels so he would look taller (I had seen him in there when we went for the pro-op and he was wearing 3" high wedge heels). He proceeded to serenade us with jokes that were a little off color and every Beatles song he could remember. He finally apologized and said when he is anxious about something it calms him to sing. Then he looked at me and asked me if I would sing with him......I can't remember the words to "Yellow Submarine" so I had to decline :)
With somewhat cooler temperatures, the foliage is losing it's baked look and is once again showing off some of its blossoms.
Noticed this tree beside the road as I was driving to Target......It almost looks like it is decked out for Christmas already with its red berries and green leaves.
A close-up view
We had the rosebushes at the front of the house trimmed back about a month ago and they have just recently decided to put on a show of blooms - lavender and deep pink
More lavender and deep pink.
I love walking out the front door to the smell of these roses!
When I tell the missionaries I want to take a picture of them - most are happy to oblige. As you can see from this picture, one wasn't very happy about getting his picture taken and would NOT face the camera.
Four of the six even consented to get a picture taken performing the Haku in memory of Elder Kapua from New Zealand. They were having a great time :)
The Friday evening before Halloween, while mom was sewing costumes, Griffen built some fearsome robots and had all kinds of ideas how we could make them fight each other. I had great fun playing with this bright, inventive, 6 year old great grandchild of mine!
Sean and Wyatt Keisel dropped by to trick or treat all dressed up as ninja and a power ranger (I think). I had talked about super heroes with Griffen on Friday night and he could not believe that I didn't know all the names of the new ones but I knew Hulk and told him that his grandpa (my boy) had gone to see the Hulk in real life. Talk about impressed!
Here is 8 month old Luke all dressed up in the dinosaur costume his mom made for him. She also made one for Griffen and they were cute little dinosaurs!
Tuesday morning on my way back from the gym, I stopped off at the Gilbert Civic Center to check out the pond where I thought I saw a heron as I drove by last week. Before I made it to the pond, I saw the group of mushrooms/toadstools all lined up on the grass.
My suspicions were confirmed, I had seen a heron hanging around the pool. I tried to get up closer but it was off in a flash before I could get close.
However, on closer look, I could still see something in that area. I walked up quite close to get a picture of this gray one.....I think it might also be a heron but not sure. Later that morning as I drove by on my way to the office, I noticed about 10 black ducks all gathered around the two taller birds. I love this diverse world we live in!
Four cute Sister Missionaries stopped by the office. I love their smiles and begged them to let me take a picture. At least one of these Sisters is going home in about a week, so she brought her bike in to be boxed up. I love when I get hugs from the Sister Missionaries!
Thursday morning when I woke up to go to the gym, I could hear the wind and it certainly looked like rain as I got outside. The trees and flag were blowing under a heavy dark sky when I returned home at 6:30 a.m.
The following few pictures were taken at Gilbert Farmhouse Square. They have tried to retain some of the old farm town feel and preserved some of the original buildings. I loved this bougainvillea that has been trained to climb up the pole and leave some below to poke out of the picket fence. It is just outside the farmhouse restaurant. I had a wonderful Cinnamon Roll there about 25 years ago and can still remember how good it was!
Just one of the whimsical displays at the square. I love the colorful flowers using painted old metal parts.
I was also captivated by this metal thing - looks like a bicycle built for about 15!
Last Monday Elder Ashton and other young Elders went over to the Chevrolet dealership and picked up 6 brand new Chevy Malibu cars for the missionaries. He has been really busy getting those out to the right missionaries and is still expecting two Nissan Frontier trucks in the next month or so. He got so far behind with the paper and computer work on the six new cars that he went to the office from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The next two weeks should keep me busy enough that I won't get bored. Tomorrow and Tuesday we have zone conferences with a visiting General Authority, Elder Chemish. He gave the talk in conference about "Am I Good Enough, Will I Make It?" and I can't wait to hear him in person.
Friday at 1 p.m. we have a group of 55 mini missionaries coming in to serve just for the weekend. My responsibility is to put together a binder for each one of those 55......I got a good head start on that work last week but will have last minute things to do.
On Tuesday, November 15 we have 14 missionaries arriving and I am still working on the binder I put together for each one of them. I only have 2 left to do so it is good I started early :)
Elder Ashton will have cataract surgery on his left eye on the 17th so that will mean a few hours out of the office. Thank goodness it comes when I am hoping things will have slowed down a little.
Happy Autumn from Arizona - I am really liking this cooler weather....as we walked out of church just after 3 p.m. today I did not feel like I was walking into an oven.
I'm starting my "Thankful List" a little early this year. First thing I am thankful for is being back home and able to see and hug on my family members on a more regular basis. Second thing I am thankful for is good health - I had a reminder pop up on FB the other day that it was 3 years ago on October 30th when I finished chemotherapy. So grateful it and the radiation put the cancer in remission and I'm still around to enjoy the beauty of the world and the people in it!