Friday, January 28, 2011

Where's Tudy's sugar?

Today we went to my Grandmother's House. While Sydney and I were visiting, Tudy stated a phrase that I had forgotten. It's mainly for the little children when someone is hugging them and its not her giving the hug. "Where's my sugar?" "Don't you let anyone get all my sugar!" "Better leave some sugar for me." So what doess that mean? It means that my grandmother has a place on the back of our neck where she kisses us when we are under than 12 years of age. Usually by that age we are not crawling in her lap. It's a nice phrase to remember.
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Touched my heart

Family: "While we teach our children all about LIFE, our children teach US what life is all about."

Profound quote I read today.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Girls Cruise to the Bahamas (1.13.11)

Went on a Cruise to the Bahamas with ladies from my neighborhood. It was a great time. Below are some things that I had the opportunity to participate. This is a summary. As I have more time, the plan is to post individual events.

The girls prior to leaving port. We had to go and learn about what to do if we have to abandon ship.
Got all dressed up at night for dinner. It was a four course meal. With my unusual eating habits, I had a few bowls of lettuce with dressing on the side. When I say bowls of lettuce, I mean just the lettuce no tomatoes nor cheese. I did have my Mineral Water every night.
We had breakfast outside a few mornings. It was nice to eat on the ship deck. I even let my hair go curly a day.
This is the girls and I in Freeport, Bahamas. It was a brisk 64 degrees there. We stopped for a few hours and went shopping. Didn't find anything worth buying.
I had Rum Nut Ice Cream in Freeport, Bahamas.
Wow, it was really yummy.

Can't go on a cruise without the towel animals. So this is me hanging out with the "swan towel" that our cabin steward, Paul. He left us a Seal, Swan, and Rabbit. Rabbit was my favorite.
We went to the Hard Rock Cafe too.

My favorite activity was the following. We fed Lory Parrot's.

"Charity Never Faileth" take away application

Today at church the 4th Sunday lesson was from the talk by President Monson in October 2010 RS General Conference titled, "Charity Never Faileth". The teacher did a great job presenting the lesson.

One reason why this lesson was hitting home to me was because of what I got to witness the past Friday night at the grocery store.... Sydney and I were checking out at the register. I was paying. When I turned to check on Sydney, she was looking at the elderly lady sitting in one of those mobile wheelchairs that had just pulled up behind us in line. Then I heard Sydney asked the lady if she could help her get the groceries out of the basket and onto the register belt. Sydney saw a need and she acted. She demonstrated charity. She was a great example to what charity is that I recalled as the lesson began on charity. She has more charity traits as do we all, we just all need to develop them.

So, I am going to share some of the important items that the teacher gleaned from the lesson and what I found important.....

None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or in actions.

There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment: “Judge not.”

I feel this is so very important that we not judge people. She had us read Matthew 7:1 that says, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It's important to remember this and use in our lives. Quoted in this talk is one of my idealized people that have leaved on this earth, Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa stated this following profound truth: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.
Sydney was an demonstrating charity in action Friday night at the grocery store. It is my hope that the next time there is a need that it won't go unnoticed by myself.

Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

This made me think that I need to have more charity (patience) with Sydney when she is frustrated and working on her communication and figuring out her feelings. I am glad to have had this lesson today. It is always great to be reminded that we are all learning to be better people in our lives. At least that's my goal and many of the people that I know similar goal.

A Honor Roll Awards Program

Sydney made "A Honor Roll" on her 2nd nine week report card. Very proud of her but the person that was the most proud was Sydney. She was very excited that she made it! She even posted on her Facebook Status (One of her first posts). Awards Program was 1.21.2011.
Sydney is on the front row to the right in pink next to the boy in black hoodie.
Below: Sydney's Awards & Report Card (Documentation for those needing proof.)

The 5th Graders from 1st and 2nd nine weeks that made "A Honor Roll".
Sydney's Friends: Marjorie (Rt) and McKenna (Left)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

PR Summit (7.2010)

Going to the PR Summit was a blast!
AIL had its summit at the Texan Gaylord in Dallas Tx.

Below are the pictures of the people that I work with and reason I love my work.
My PR Team in June 2010.
As of today, 1.9.2011 I have 7 Reps in Central & North FL
Very powerful Women!
Patti Morgan (How Beautiful she looks!) Shes my Director.
Having fun after hours. :D)

Becky Turner, OPEIU 277 Local President
(Not the best picture)

Washington D.C. in June (6.13.2010)

While I was attending the Washington D.C. NEXT UP Conference for the AFL-CIO, I was able to go and see some sights. One that I got to see was the White House! Thanks for taking the picture Chad!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sydney gives a primary talk

Tomorrow (1.9.11) Sydney will give a talk at church. It was on "Scriptures are the Word of God". Below is her talk that we were able to put together. It took about an hour and it is 2 minutes 25 seconds long. I was able to get a picture of her practicing her talk also. What a ham!

When Prophets of the Lord speak or write under the power of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture. From the beginning, the Lord has commanded His prophets to keep a record of His teachings and dealings with His children. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses four books as scripture:
• The Holy Bible
• The Book of Mormon
• The Doctrine and Covenants, and
• The Pearl of Great Price.

These books are called “The Standard Works”. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture. For example, when we hear President Monson speak at General Conference he is speaking the word of God.

We should each study the scriptures every day with our family and learn the word of god. By reading the scriptures we will grow closer to Heavenly Father. We will understand the truths and that will help us know right from wrong.

As my family has studied the scriptures, I have found stories that I like very much. One of my favorite stories is in the Book of Mormon. It is about a Prophet named Abinadi. Abinadi was on a mission for the lord and he told evil King Noah that he had lead his people into wickedness and should stop doing bad things. The Lord protected Abinadi while he spoke to the King. I learned is that it is important to always be a good example, to be brave and to be strong in what we believe is true because we don’t know who is going to be listening or watching. There was a Priest named Alma who listened and was converted to these teachings. Alma begged King Noah to not kill Abinadi. The King got mad at Alma and sent him away. A little while later he sent his solders to kill Alma. While Alma was hiding he recorded the teachings of Abinadi which we call scriptures.
So in 2 Nephi 32:3 it tells us to "feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what we should do". I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

She was hamming it up in front of the camera too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Student Government (8.1.2010)

Sydney came home saying that she wanted to run for Student Government and was going to run for Vice President. She won her classes vote for VP. We had a GREAT time putting together the fliers for her to put up at school. We also made name badges and bag tags. When I asked her why she was running, it came down to it that she wanted to help her school and be able to go and pick up the trash around the school She wanted to help with recycling.
She has enjoyed being a part of Student Government.

New Car (7.30.2010)

Since the wreck on 7.13.2010, I had to buy a new car. This is the car I got 7.31.10. It is a 2009 Chrysler Sebring. It had 9,900 miles on it when I purchased. To date it has 34,400 miles on it now.

Pandora Ring (12.31.2010)

For Christmas mom gave me a ring that I can interchange my Pandora Beads. For two years, I have looked at this ring. I showed it to mom when we were visiting Padgett's Jewelry during the holidays. She secretly bought and had Aaron pick up when he was visiting from Seattle so that I would not have a clue. It was my favorite gift over Chirstmas. (I love my other gifts too! Thanks to all who gave me gifts.)

When mom and I went to Atlanta for the dance we found a Pandora store and bought a bead for the ring. This bead will remind me of the fun time we had at first Single Adult's Dance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Orange Groves Bring Memories

Today, I drove the back roads home from Orlando, FL. Driving those highways enabled me to see grove and groves of Orange Trees. More than I have seen in YEARS. They were beautifully filled with Oranges weighing down their branches. Which was great to see and I hope that they will produce outstanding Oranges and Orange Juice.

**When the family would go on vacations to visit my dad's parents (Ella and Stanley Stroud) in DeBary, FL, one of the stops we would make had to be the Florida Visitor's Center. We would get free orange juice samples. Being from a family of six (6) free is always a good thing to the parents.**

**When most people say half and half they think of creamer, but in my family that means something different. It means 1/2 OJ and 1/2 water. We would go through milk and OJ so quickly that Dad would often split the OJ gallon in half and replace with water. So still to this day, it is hard for me to have a straight glass of OJ. Spoke to Aaron about this and he is the same way. We both actually water down our OJ. Mom was able to convince Dad to NOT water down the milk. But, he was frugal and did sometimes which he would then be the only one to drink it. Then when times were REALLY bad, he would make milk from the dry milk and that was YUCKY! I would skip my milk at those times. **

**One other story that came to mind was that MomMom and PopPop (Ella & Stanley Stroud) had an Valencia Orange Tree in the back of there house in DeBary, FL and I would climb in the tree. This tree never produced fruit to my memory or we never visited when it had fruit on it.**

**Another memory is going to Blue Springs State Park to see the Manatees however we visited too early in the seasons all my life to NEVER see them at the Florida State Park. As I got older, I eventually have seen living Manatees at another Florida State Park.**

**Last Orange memory is Santa Claus would always leave us kids a Naval Orange, Red Delicious Apple and Brazilian Nuts in our stockings along with other candies and gifts.**

I'm glad to have experienced all the lessons I did in my early years. It has made me a stronger, caring, understanding and a more determined person. Wow! Who would have thought that Oranges could teach someone lessons in life.

Jimbo's Apple Pie (8/31/2010)

During my travels around the state, I came across the BEST Apple Pie I have EVER HAD. It came from Jimbo's Real Pit Bar B Que in Lakeland, FL. Had to capture the moment with a few picture. Yummy! My taste buds are anticipating it again. Time to have it again!

Where to find this great places to eat?
In Lakeland, FL
1215 East Memorial Blvd
Lakeland, Florida
(863) 683-3777 web site
In Tampa
4103 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33609-2226
(813) 289-9724 web site

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Swim w/ 7 time Olympian Medalist, Kirsty Coventry (12.28.10)

During Sydney's Winter Break, she got to see and swim with Kirsty Coventry (9/16/1983). Kirsty was in Thomasville, GA and held a clinic for any swimmer at the YMCA. We took Katareen with us and they both had the opportunity to get coached.

At the clinic, Kirsty gave the following tips for swimming:
  • Focus on time not just place on podium. Once you make time that will put you where you want to be which is on the podium.
  • Channel nerves into good thing to be successful, they can help us learn how strong of a person we can all be in our life.
  • Swim for techniques rather than endurance. Focus on technique in younger years.
  • At end of day we all have 2 legs and 2 arms- people put pants one legs on at time.
  • FYI: Peak for women swimmer 18-24 yrs old but age growing.
How often do you get to meet an Olympian. Then, how often does it happen that you get to race with them. That is what Sydney got, the opportunity to race against Kirsty. Kirsty swam a 100 IM by herself and the kids raced one link against her. The video is Sydney racing Kirsty on the backstroke link. Sydney is in the right lane. I thought this was amazing.
(Sydney is wearing the blue cap with white letters.)

BIO: Kirsty Leigh Coventry is a Zimbabwean swimmer and world record holder. She swam competitively for Auburn University. At 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece Coventry won three Olympic medals: a gold, a silver, and a bronze. While in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China she won four medals: a gold and three silver. Currently she is the World Record Holder in the 200 m backstroke (2:04.81).

Additional PicturesThe below are pictures of Katareen with Kirsty.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Robert Stanley Stroud Sr. (1940-1997)

Robert Stanley Stroud getting ready to go jump out of an airplane in Fort Benning, GA. One of his nicknames was "Barney the Buzzard" because he was SOOOO skinny.

Today is January 4th which is my dad's birthday. He would have turned 71 years old today. At a meeting today, I spoke about how he took care of his family prior to his passing by purchasing a Life Insurance Policy that helped my mom for many years. I'm very blessed that he thought ahead for his family. Going to work every day for American Income Life Insurance Company means more to me than just a job because I am able to help families protect their love one's in the hardest time of their life just like my dad helped mine. Happy Birthday Dad! Felt you close by me today! As I wrote this tonight, it made me remember what he would call his mom as a term of endearment which was, "Bula Bula".
"It hurts because we are alive." from Charlie St. Cloud

Life is beautiful. And it’s mine.
It’s full of colour and surprising events.
It hurts.
But the greater our quality of life,
The more it hurts.
So we endure the pain to reap the rewards.
And as it hurts, we smile.
Because it reminds us that we are alive.
And we are happy to be alive.
And I,
I am not like the others.
I will always see the beauty
In spite of the pain.
Because I am strong and I am wise.

I. Am. Self. Aware.

I liked this poem and what it was saying to be happy that we are alive. Live each day to the best of your ability and the harder you live the more rewarding it will be.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Posting checkup....

~So, here we go new postings backdated~

  1. Counting-down-to-christmas
  2. Cookies-for-2010
  3. Chirstmas-day-skype

New Color's and layout

So do you like the new colors and layout? Decided to update the banner picture on the right and keep the main banner the same with the title until another photo shoot is taken. Planning on a photo shoot when go out to Utah this Spring.

Also, over the next week, I will be backdating entries again since I am SOOOOO far behind on blogging. But to save you from figuring out what is NEW, I will do the same type of posting like I did a while back with the 50 posts. Hopefully, I am not 50 postings behind again.

BTW... The picture was taken this past Winter when Sydney and I went to Kennedy Space Center. (Still haven't blogged that either.) :D)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chirstmas Day Skype (12/25/2010)

We have discovered Skype at our house. It was an interesting Christmas Day. Mom, Tudy and I spoke with all of the boys and their families. I left my personal laptop at home and my work one didn't have a web cam. However we were in luck that Mariwilla did except it didn't have a stand. So Cousin Bobby figured out the solution. See our makeshift web cam stand... :D)
Diet Mountain Dew Can turns into Web cam stand.

What happened on the Skype phone?
  • Aaron's call was exciting to see everyone open their presents then it seemed like we were watching through some one's eyes that had BAD GLAUCOMA.
  • David's call enabled us to all see Paisley and Audrey for the firs time and Chloe change clothes and put on her homemade (by me) princess cape however we saw more that heard because their sound kept going out.
  • Robby's call we were able to see McKenna's belly for the first time. Rob had the best clarity and sound. Kudos's to him for having the technology all set.

Happy New Year 2011

On my way home from going to Atlanta, GA for a Single Adult Dance with mom, I was listening to a Book on Tape, If Life Were Easy It Wouldn't Be Hard, by Sherri Dew. She quoted the below scripture and I liked. Thought to record in blog.
Doctrine & Covenants 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
To me it means let us do our part and then turn it over to God. I find me trying to do just this daily. Some days are better than others. Plus the fact that knowing that if I stress too much about items that my nerves will start to make my skin itch. Don't like that at all. :D)

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION don't mean too much to me because I set goals throughout the year. However, I am going to make a resolution to post more regularly to this blog. This is my family history, so its important to keep these records.

GOAL: Post 2 x's weekly to blog
(104 postings at minimum for 2011)

GOALS already in progress:

  1. Health: Loss of 50 pounds by April 1st, 2011 (progress report: loss of 20 pounds, remaining of 30 pounds)
  2. Finance: 2 months of expenses in savings by December 2011. Step 3 of Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps.
  3. Family: Nightly Prayers and Sydney learn all 13 Articles of Faith (Progress Report: 1,2,3 and 13 complete)
  4. Personal: Learn Spanish to the point of conversational level.
  5. Professional: Make bonus every quarter in 2011 and qualify for 2012 Convention in Dominican Republic.

New Year's Eve Dance

It finally happened.
Mom and I ended up at a Single Adults Dance together in Atlanta, GA.
We had fun dancing and both of us were glad a few guys were there that could dance. There was one guy who could move across the dance floor and I had not danced like that in four (4) years. It was GREAT! Dancing is so much fun with a dance partner who CAN DANCE. I was a bit rusty but kept up pretty good.