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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanks to Jessica, I have some new photos posted on my blog. Thanks Jess for your help. One of these days I will attempt it myself. I did have to learn how to label the pictures after she posted them so I am learning a little at a time. Each time it gets a little easier.
Below are pictures of the great time we had in McCall this Thanksgiving. It was fun having Jess and Tommy there. The food and the company were unbeatable. Thanks Crossleys for hosting. Our plans changed a little and we didn't spend the night in McCall but it all worked out for the best.
The next weekend I turned around and went back to Boise where I got to spend three fun days with the grandkids as Spencer and Summer took off and went to New York City. I forgot how little time a mother with young children has to herself. But, just a little word to you new mothers. Enjoy the children while they are young as it isn't long and they turn into teenagers and that brings with it a whole new set of challenges. That too will pass and then they will leave home and you more or less get your life back but you have a lot to show for all your hard work and sacrafice. Then the grandchildren come along and that is when you reap the rewards for your hard work. There is nothing better.
Speaking of grandchildren, while in Boise I got to witness Max make his very first basket while playing in his little league basketball game. He actually made three baskets and was bragging to his teammates about all the money he had earned. I offered him $1.00 a basket and besides that, he had in his head that his dad was going to pay him $20 a basket. You could almost see the dollar signs in his eyes but above and beyond that, he realized that he could make a basket if he tried hard enough. I can remember offering money for baskets and soccer goals, but soon the money doesn't matter any more and they score just because they know they can. Good job Max.
Next big adventure is Christmas and New Years. I am toying with the idea of driving to Texas but it all depends on the weather. This time I am going to try and get pictures and learn how to get them on my blog. Later.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving in McCall

Spence and Tommy enjoying Tommy's early Christmas gift - thanks to Nichole.

The "grandkids" - Will , Macey , Reed , Max (toothless) , and Maddy


Snack (junk food) time.



Tommy getting ready to give Nana a neck massage. This is after her frightening experience getting her spine straightened against her will.




Kids table - Maddy getting a jump on dinner.





Adult table. Thanks to Nichole for the beautiful settings and Summer for bringing the candle to add "atmosphere" to the meal.






Nana and Maddy preparing the relish tray. Maddy was brave and tried each veggie we added. She spit most of them out but she gave them a try. Her favorite were the olives - after she put one on each finger. She loves to help cook and Nana had a great time with her.







Sunday, November 30, 2008

Angels Watching Over Me

I just returned from a great Thanksgiving in McCall which I will talk about another time. It is late Sun. night but I feel compelled to talk about my angels who travel with me all the time.
Before my mother died a few years ago, she gave both Jessica and me a little gold angel to put in our cars and said "Remember, the angels are with you always." This angel has a lot of meaning for me for two reasons. The first one being my mom gave it to me and it reminds me a lot of her and the fun times we had riding around in my little car talking and eating soft ice cream cones from KWIK Way. I miss her but know she is happy and watching over me as I travel. Second reason I love that little gold angel is when Spence and his family lived in Idaho Falls a couple of years back, Max loved to go with me to do the million errands I would do on Saturday pretty much every weekend. I loved his company and we had so much fun and as we tripped around Idaho Falls he would always ask to play with the little angel. He always put the angel in a safe special place as we would run into a store or where ever we were going. He loved that little angel and it reminds me everytime I look at it about our fun days we spent together.
So, back to my story. Yesterday as I was leaving Boise after our great Thanksgiving, I saw a car in front of me with the license plate holder that said "Angels are Watching Over Me" and I wished that I had a holder just like that one.
On the long trip home, I kept glancing up at my little angel and wondering which angel was riding with me. I know I require a whole gang of angels pretty much most of the time, but I know they have other people to watch over but one or two of them are always there. It was a passing thought but I just kept looking up at that little angel.
It was about 10:30 p.m. when I finally started across the dry farms climbing altitude up to my little mountain home. I was anxious to get home after the long trip and my stops along the way. I had been travelling on the freeway so I was used to going about 85 mph and knowing there was little enforcement out on the highway, I kept about that speed until I crossed Canyon Creek Bridge about 20 miles from home. As clear as day, I heard "Black Ice" a couple of times but I was following a pickup going about the same speed as I so I thought I was safe. Again, just after crossing the brigde "Black Ice" came into my mind so I slowed way down against my wishes and began to drive much slower. I arrived home safely and in my prayers again thanked the Lord for my safe trip and my angels for watching over me.
Now, for the rest of the story. During the announcements at church this morning, the Bishop informs us that a friend and fellow teacher Charlotte Barr) was killed the night before only two miles from her home when her pickup hit a patch of black ice, rolled five times, and she had to be extricated from the pickup already being dead. This was not the pickup that I was following, this happened only 1/2 hour after I had passed this same spot. Her and her husband had taken a quick run to Rexburg to pick up a car and they were travelling home with her driving the pickup and he driving the car behind her. Two miles from their home he watched (I'm sure in horror) as she hit the ice, rolled the pickup five times, and was pinned inside. He tried to get her out but to no avail and the extrication team had a hard time getting her out. I believe she was already dead.
One half hour after I had passed the same spot! I have been thanking my angels all day long for the warning. That could have easily been me and that late at night I may have been trapped inside for hours before anyone found me.
The moral of this story. Always pray that your angels will be with you as you travel and then LISTEN!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

McCall Here We Come

I know, it's been a while since I did a new post but everytime I go to my blog to post I get busy reading everybody else's blogs and it gets past my bedtime (I actually have myself on a schedule as much as I love late-night stuff) so I tell myself I will do it tomorrow. I have discovered (duh) that tomorrow never comes. One of my New Year's resolutions is going to be spend more time on the computer. I am still waiting for someone to invent a chair that you can exercise in while you are on the computer. I need to somehow figure out how to hook my computer up to my tread mill so I can read e-mails and blogs while I walk. Even if there was a way to do that, I probably couldn't figure it out so I am just going to have to buck up and reserve more computer time. I might have to stop watching "Dancing With the Stars" although the season is almost over. Then I am sure something else will come on like American Idol that I can't resist. I need to get rid of my dish.
I actually talked to someone in church that reads my blog. I was surprised. I know my family reads it on occasion but I didn't think anyone else did. Thanks Barbara for keeping track of me and the fam.
Speaking of the family, we are off for a new adventure for Thanksgiving. Because Ned (Nichole's hubby) is busy keeping the peace in McCall and has to work on Thanksgiving (he is a police officer) we have all decided to pack up and go to the mountains for Thanksgiving. Jessica and Tommy are coming from El Paso on Wednesday so we booked a couple of adjoining rooms at the Lake Shore Lodge in McCall which overlooks the beautiful lake, has a big rec room, a movie theatre, an exercise room (like we will use that!) and lots of space for the little ones to run and play. We will have an "easy to fix and eat" dinner at the Crossley's then off to the Lodge for the afternoon and evening. Spence will have access to his football games but we are hoping he will have more fun with the family than sitting watching football (in my dreams). Hopefully we can get the kids all settled fairly early so we can pull out the games for family game night which we don't get to have much of these last few years.
Nichole has asked for a late check out for Friday so hopefully more swimming and hanging out together. Jessica and Tommy then leave for Spokane Friday night to visit his daughter for a couple of days. It will be fun to have them here in Idaho. Maybe if it weren't so cold Tommy might decide he would like to live here.
So, thats the plan for the Nead family. I hope everyone else has something fun planned with their family as that is what really matters. I am so thankful for my great family. I am truly blessed to have healthy, happy children who have chosen wonderful mates and have blessed me with the best grandchildren in the world.
As I age, I am becoming more aware of how lucky I am to be in such good health. I know I complain about my extra pounds, but if that what it takes to be healthy so be it. I have a friend who has a lot of really expensive paintings and who doesn't hurt for money that told me one day that she would trade everything she had to be as healthy as I am. What more could anyone ask for? I might not have a big fancy house but I also don't have a lot of aches and pains which is a huge blessing at my age. Luckily my knees, elbows, hips, and shoulders all work well (although Spencer keeps trying to convince me that I need new knees) so I can excercise about 90 minutes a day without much problem. No wonder I don't get much computer time.
So this Thanksgiving, I hope whoever reads this long, drug out blog (which I meant to keep short) will appreciate their many blessings and enjoy them to the fullest. I still love the country western song "Live Like You Were Dying" as you never know when that time may come.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Halloween, Ball Game, Birthday Getaway

Going to try and keep this short but have a lot to talk about. I was getting ansie(sp?) last weekend so decided it was time for a road trip, so I got off school early (grade day) and headed West. I did have some other motivation though, first it being Halloween and second it was Spencer's birthday, but what I didn't know was Max was having his first basketball game ever and Spencer was the coach. Not going to say much about the game except I enjoyed watching Max play although I got a little out of control and realized why all my children grew up so competative and really enjoyed watching Spencer coach those little six-year old boys. He was really patient and didn't lose control of himself unlike his mother.
I drove as fast and frantic as I could from Teton Valley and arrived in Boise just in time to see the grandkids and all their friends finish their "trunk or treat" at the church. Max was so excited - he came up to me, showed me his bag of candy and said "look how much candy I have and I haven't even been to the neighbors yet." Maddy, she was sitting in the back of the van covered with chocolate and looking cute in her princess costume. Macy soon arrived looking as cute as Maddy in her identical costume. Summer said that Maddy was supposed to be the frog this year as per tradition but carried the princess costume all over the store and she didn't have the heart to make her into a frog instead of a princess. Smart move Summer.
After the trunk or treat, Spence loaded up the van with all the kids - about 10 of them - and off to the neighborhood to trick or treat up and down the block. It was interesting because I think there were more adults there than kids. Besides parents, there were grandpartents and aunts and uncles. We had a great time watching the kids run from door to door and visiting along the way. The weather was warm enough that coats weren't needed and the street was filled with princesses, ninjas, monsters, and you name it. Wasn't long the Neads ran out of candy so Summer just put a note on the door "Out of candy". What a fun evening and some great memories. Friday night alone was worth the long trip from the valley.
Sat morning we took off for Max's basketball game and again the gym was filled with as many grandparents as parents. We finally found a few chairs in the corner and Summer got a little frustrated having to take care of the two girls while trying to watch the game. She decided she would hire a babysitter next game so she could concentrate on the game. The little boys were so cute and it brought back a lot of memories from my days watching kids on the basketball court. Fun times and great memories for me.
Later that afternoon I watched the kids (actually didn't do much watching - but playing) as Spence and Summer went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. That was part of my gift for Spence was a little time off from the fam and time alone with his wife. I'm sure we at home had a better time than they did though. We spent time flying paper airplanes and building lego spaceships. Another great evening for nana.
I got up the next morning and headed east this time leaving with a lot of good memories and a long drive with a short visit but well worth it. Luckily the trip home was uneventful - no flying truck tires in the windshield this time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Exploding Truck Tires

First, before I relate an incident that happened to me on the way home from Boise on my last trip, I just want everyone to know that reads this that I do not enjoy playing around on the computer. The computer is not exactly my idea of a "good time". In fact, I was in tears on Thursday (definately not one of the best days of my life) at school when I received my Teachers editions of a new course I am teaching (grammar) and everything I needed was on a CD. All practice material, tests, evaluations, literally everything I needed I had to locate on a CD. Finally after much frustration, I decided I would be better off creating my own material than trying to locate it on the computer. Again though, I was blessed as the computer specialist came to my classroom (divine intervention) to visit with me and what she found was a teacher on the verge of tears due to frustration. My sister keeps asking me why she is not on my blog list and I don't even know what that means let alone get her there. With that, I will continue.
Due to lack of anything else going on in my life, I want to tell you about a scary incident that happened to me a few weeks ago. I was on my way home from Boise and as usual, in a hurry. As I have done many, many times, I was following a truck too close as he was passing another truck. I know you have all been in that situation where you are behind a huge truck and next to a huge truck. Not a fun place to be but I am still riding his tail hoping to pass as soon as he passes. I don't know if the truck in front of me blew a tire or just hit a recently tire that had blown but all the sudden I am getting pounded with hard rubber onto my windshield. Holly Hannah!!! I have never experienced that before. And you think hail hits the windshield hard. I was scared beyond words and more was flying at me. Talk about you life flashing by in a second. I knew my windshield was going to shatter and that hard rubber tire pieces were going to hit me right in the face. I slammed on my brakes still getting pelted with hard rubber. I was lucky there wasn't a car behind me (everyone else on the road was much smarter that me). Luckily, I slowed enough to dodge the rest of the rubber but my heart was pounding so fast I didn't know what to do. Another one of those incidents that I now can add to my list of "life experiences" which are things I have experienced that I never want to experience again but ones that I have learned from. I started my "life experience" list just after I ran for the legislature, that being the top of the list. It has grown since then. In fact, one of these days I will ask everyone to submit one of their "life experiences" and I will pass them around. That will be another time.
I relate this experience to all my millions of readers to warn you to stop following trucks so close as you never know when they will blow a tire and it will hit you right where you don't want to be hit - in the windshield. Words of wisdom from Nana Nead: Keep you distance from vehicles be it trucks, cars, or busses. In other words, drive defensively and safely.
Have got to close for now. Tons of leave are waiting to be raked. Bought me a new toy last week - a rake that not only rakes leaves but gathers them as well. If I can ever learn how to post pitures, that will be one I will post. Later.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Snow

It's Saturday morning and I got up and wanted to go for a walk but lo and behold, I look out the window and SNOW! Our first snow for the year and it is always hard to take. Seems a little early this year as the farmers are still trying to get potatoes and grains out of the ground.
Speaking of potatoes, we had our fall break last week and as usual, I packed up and went to Boise to visit grandkids. Got my car tuned up on Wed. morning and headed west to arrive there just in time to watch Max practice soccer. After the soccer practice, I learned why I love being a "Nana" so much. It was late so we stopped in at the local Subway and after chowing down a delicious sandwich, Max leans back and says "This is the best day of my life." His mom inquired why and he replies "I got to play soccer and my nana came to visit." Wow! Didn't know I could make someone's day the best day of their life. I decided then and there to try and make everyday the best day of my life. Sometimes I don't suceed, but at least I try.
Nikki came down from McCall on Thursday and we had a great day together. She looks GREAT! Has lost 78 lbs. to date (probably more by now) and says she feels good. Proud of you Nikki. It isn't easy is it?
Yesterday wasn't one of the best days of my life, but I accomplished something I never thought possible. For those of you that don't know, computer stuff comes really hard for me. I grew up on a manual typewriter - none of this high tech stuff. But, I have been forced to join the computer generation and it hasn't been an easy task for me. At the beginning of school, I paniced when they brought me a brand new computer as I was so used to my old out-of-date one. Luckily the computer tech set it up for me and gave me some quick instructions. I was petrified thinking I would never be able to operate it but wa la, it turned out to be easier than I thought. I now love my new school computer. But, as the old computer went out the door, so did the printer that was attached to it. I asked the computer tech where my printer was and she said I would have to order my own. So, put a request in to the office and yesterday in comes my new printer but no computer tech with it. The box was dropped off and again, panic struck! I took a deep breath, opened the box, and actually knew how to insert the disc that took me step by step through the installation. I knew that at some point I would get to the step that I couldn't complete and I would run in desperation to the computer tech begging for help. But, I just kept plugging things in and hitting the right buttons and when on the screen appeared the words "Installation Complete" I jumped up and did a little dance around the floor (no I didn't have any students at the time). I couldn't believe it. I actually tested it and IT WORKED! I know this seems so simple to some of you, but those that know me know what a big accomplishment that was for me. So, I can say, probably one of the best days of my school year.
I'm now going to the closet to dig out my winter clothes and brave the weather for a chilly walk around the park. Later!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My bucket list

Look at me. My third post to my blog and my second week in a row. Go Nana!!
On Monday morning, my radio automatically came on at 6:00 a.m. just as the dj's signed on at KLCE radio station. This morning, the first thing Liza announces is that her partner Wayne Richards died the night before while vacationing in Hawaii. I have listened to Wayne since KLCE started about 15 years ago and he and I became friends when Spencer was drafted and we visited on occasion on the radio. He followed me through the mayorial race and my short run for the Legislature. I felt like I had lost a good friend as did many other listeners in the area. Lisa pointed out many times during the week that Wayne died doing something he had always wanted to do - scuba dive- and he had lived life to the fullest. He was 54 and in good health and no one knows what really happened.
All week I have been reflecting on my life and trying to come up with things I would really like to do before my time is up and came to the conclusion that if my sun were to set unexpectedly, I would return to my heavenly family reporting back that I was ready to return and had no regrets. I have done so much in my short lifetime that I am ready to set my speed on cruise control (slow speed) and sail happily into the sunset.
I do have a bucket list though. Considering that I have already climbed the Eiffel Tower, watched the changing of the guard in London, travelled across the USSR on the Trans Siberian Railroad, hitch-hiked through Switzerland, served my country in the Vietnam War in the Red Cross, spent time in the outback in Austrailia, shopped in Hong Kong, swam in the beaches off Sydney, Austrailia, rode the train up Mt. Fuji in Japan, motorbiked in England, spent the night in a hostel that at one time was a hideout for Hitler, got a ticket in Holland for hitch-hiking in the wrong spot on the freeway, and travelled completely around the world, mainly I want to spend as much time with my family as possible, especially the grandchildren as it is fun to enjoy their energy and not worry about if the laundry is done, the piano has been practiced, the hair has been washed or teeth have been brushed. I will leave those chores to the parents and we will just have fun together. I remember the times I spent with my only grandma and such precious memories I have of her. Her cookie jar was always full and we loved playing in her basement and walking the railroad tracks next to her house. I want my grandchildren to have fun memories with their "nana." I also enjoy watching my own children and their parenting skills. I am so proud of each one of them and if I had done nothing else in this life, I would still feel like my life had been complete as my children all have strong testimonies of the gospel, know how to work hard, seem to be happy with their lives, and are dedicated to their families.
My advice to them is to enjoy every moment you have together as it isn't long as you are sending them out into the world off to college, on missions, and to the altar where they then will reward you for all your efforts by giving you beautiful grandchildren. No one could ask for a better reward.
All this rambling on is really bringing me to the point that I want to make. As my sun begins to go down, if it sets sooner than expected, remember that I go knowing I lived life to the fullest and I can return to report "mission complete". Don't feel sad for me as I will be going home with head held high and proud of what I accomplished in this life.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Here I go again. Jessica tells me if I am going to be a blogger I have to ad to my blog once in a while. I thought everyone that reads my blog (does anyone?) would just enjoy looking at the beautiful picture of the Tetons, read what I wrote first over and over again, then find my house in the picture and log off.
O.k., so there is more to it than that I guess. I'm just not used to this stuff. Wait until I learn how to put pictures on then it will get really exciting. But, that may be a while. I am still learning how to turn my new camera that the fam gave me on and off and once in a while I snap a few shots. Now I have to figure out how to get them off my camera and made into a real picture like I am used to.
If you read the Crossley blog, you were told that they visited me about three weeks ago and yes, I definately took advantage of my handy-man son-in-law spending the weekend up here. I have to admit, I did have a list ready for him to tackle and he didn't bat an eye (he didn't have time or he probably did it behind my back). I first set him to work helping me (well he did it all) prop the roof up on my old storage shed which collapsed last winter under the heavy snow. We found a couple of 4x4's in back of city hall, which I am sure they won't miss, and he sawed them the proper length then lifted the roof while I shoved them in place. It looks pretty good but we will see how sturdy they are when winter sets in.
Ned sent me into cardiac arrest though when he suggested he put a new shower head on my shower for me. I loved my old shower head as I got lots of pressure and had no complaints about it. But upon further examination, there was such a huge buildup of hard water that I don't know how I got any pressure at all. I did give in to letting him put a new head on with the promise that if I didn't like it he would replace the old one so he went to work replacing my shower head. He promised I would have good pressure, which has turned out true. Not as much pressure as before, but enough. I am now doing my part to conserve one of our most precious resources so I am now helping save the world thanks to Ned.
It was fun having the Crossleys visit and I even tolerated the dog - Hobbs. He is so patient with those little boys. At one point, Reed had him wrapped up in a rope and a sword sticking through the ropes and he was sitting so patiently with his paws crossed that I tried to get a picture but couldn't get my new camera to work. Yes, I turned it on first.
I have probably said enough but since it has been so long since I wrote I have a lot of catching up to do. Read on for more entertainment.
Next weekend I got to attend church with Kelly's family as they sang and sounded beautiful. Won't be long before Keayen is on "American Idol." He has a beautiful voice and Natalyah looked cute. Monika was sleeping peacefully on the bench so she missed the whole thing but her time will come considering how often they are asked to sing. I can see why.
(Almost done - bear with me). Next weekend I had a satellite dish installed so since then I have pretty much just sat in my chair (mom's wonderful rocking chair that Howard bought her) and skrolled through all the channels watching anything that catches my fancy. Have seen old episodes of M*A*S*H*, Home Improvement, etc. I guess it's time to get up out of my chair and do something productive.
Oh, I did referee a volleyball game for the first time last week in six years. I was scared to death but not to brag, I did a pretty good job. I realized though that almost no one looks at you except when it is time to serve. At one point, I was watching a young father and his cute baby in the stands and nothing was happening on the floor. Come to find out, they were all waiting for me to give the signal to serve. Duh! I tried to pay more attention after that.
O.k., one more thing. I got to know the newest member to our family a little better yesterday when we had a bonding moment on the phone. Thanks Tommy for the words of love and support. You made my day. Welcome to our crazy family!! Bye for now (finally, you are all saying).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Great Blog

Wow! What a great picture of my valley. No wonder I live here. Find the tall grain elevator towards the left side of the picture and that is where my little house is. Wow! what a great blog site. Thanks to my daughters Jess and Nikki for dragging me screaming and kicking into the blogger's world. I'm not going to write much this time as I am not sure this will really work but I do want to say, this weekend I went to the Manwaring Family reunion and thanks to Kelly and Becca for showing up to represent my family. What is sad, I can remember my mother dragging me to those reunions and now, I am that person forcing my children to attend. It was fun seeing all my cousins (now the older generation except for Aunt Lois and Aunt Eva). We realized that "we are now our parents!"
School has started and I have one week under my belt. I have had to add five desks to my classroom but we have a great, new principal so I think it is going to be a good year. I walked through the new middle school they are building and it is huge!
That is all for now. Nor not writing much, I ramble on and on.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pics of my Family

Here is my family. It's not usual to have them all in one place at one time standing still.
Top, left to right:
Nichole (my daughter), Ned (Nichole's husband, Spencer (my son), Summer (Spencer's wife), Me, Jessica (my daughter) Tommy (Jessica's husband), Rebecca (Kelly's wife), Kelly (my son).Bottom, left to right:Nichole's boys: Reed and Will, Spencer's kids: Max, Macey, Madison. Kelly's kids: Monika, Tally, Keayen
Here I am with just my kids. Left to right: Kelly (the youngest), Me, Jessica (2nd), Nichole (oldest), Spencer (3rd)
Here I am with all my grandkids.
Left to right:
Macey (3), Max (6), Tally (4), Macey (2), Keayen (6), Reed (5), Will (3)
Me and "The Girls"
The boys! Tommy has been crowned "Tiny Tim," even though he's 5'10"! Not to mention, he won the Push-Up Contest in the hotel the night before the wedding.

Monday, August 18, 2008

nana hops on the blog train today!!