Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ready to Read? Look for YOU in this Post!

I have to say that being a blogger has enriched my life! What? Enriched? You may ask. But yes, I have so many things to be thankful for because of Blogging. As I write, I can reflect on my blessings and my loves. I love to turn on my computer in the quiet of the morning and take a journey with those that I love, gather things to think about through my day, and smile and laugh about a lot. Even shed a few tears. (Definitely my longest post to date…warning…;)

The obvious is keeping in touch with my kids who are far from me, Heidi, Matt and J-man, Brendon and Stephanie. Love to see how life is with them away from California. With pictures and videos…my goodness it is great! Since you have taken a piece of my heart with you to those other states, I love to see you during the week! Then Garen, to have a glimpse into our oldest’s thoughts even though he lives at home. He is a bit of a private soul. Although he is quite happy these days, and it shows in his face and how often we see him. You and your brothers and sisters keep me going in love and compassion, devotion to all that is right and good.
Two of my sisters are bloggers, but not often enough for me!! Come on girls I need MORE! You are indeed my sisters by birth, heavenly and earthly, and I would choose my siblings again, and again, and again. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish we had more time together, so blogging helps a little! My two sisters-in-law who blog along with me. I know we chose to be part of this Holmes clan of love and faith. We have all so much to be thankful for in the rich heritage we have been blessed with by birth and by marriage, and the legacy that will continue because we are who we are! Love your guts!
My nieces and nephews and their exciting and growing lives. I have seen you grow since birth. You have made so much of your gifts and talents, and wonderfully now teaching me things about instilling all that is good into daily life. Getting degrees, starting companies, Finding your soul mate spouses, supporting those spouses, loving your family and the Lord. Hugs and kisses (and tickles) to you!
I have met new people like Marie, a Canadian, who now resides in England. She is a member of our faith, and she is a chef by profession. She is an inspiration by design of our Father in Heaven. LOVE her Daily insights and recipes. What an open heart you have, and give so freely from it.
Newly acquired family - the Warner clan…Dad, Cole is a quiet soul, and shares what he has read, and feels with his children. Reflections on life, and our beloved Marianne. I love learning more about her through her family. You are missed sweet friend. Katherine is an inspiration, she is our Julia’s older sister, wise beyond her years. Hiliarious as all get out! Talented cook and I have learned so much from her expertise in the kitchen. One of the first bloggers I ever heard about because my Grant said "Mom, have you seen Katherine’s blog? It has the best recipes! " He was right we love the recipes and we love Katherine, Bobby, Franny and Sophie. Kirksville, MO neighbors to our Brendon and Stephanie, and helped forge their way…
Getting closer to people that I have known for years, but have also moved away like Lauri. After having served together in the Corona Stake Young Women’s we became friends through tears of service, of faith, of family and laughter. I love having her back in my life from Arizona, I need an infusion of your thoughts regularly, thank you!
Getting closer to long time friends like Lura, as we share often the loves in our lives. Lura is one sweetheart of a sister, few people have such a natural exuberance for life. She recently came to my aide with my "sisters" Diane and Karen the day before and the day of Jordan’s wedding reception. Couldn’t have done it without her.
Next blessing – Getting to see how the Young Women and Young Men of the Corona Stake have grown into amazing people. Be it single and fabulous, or wives and mothers, fathers and hubbies…..wherever you may be! Oh my goodness, this is quite a long list and makes up so much of my blog list. They grew up with my daughters and sons and I was privileged to be a part of their lives then. I feel like an auntie now, as I watch them raise their babies, develop incredible talents in themselves as well as lead and guide their children on the path of righteousness. I thrill with each peek into their lives as they celebrate each milestone and each of you reading this, know that I love you and I am so proud of the great lives you are living.
Then my new sisters who came into my life in the Eastvale Ward while Russell was serving as Bishop. Amazing and talented creatures you are ladies! I love seeing life thru your vibrant and amazing lives as you anticipate births, see the humor in raising your children, remind me of those days gone by, raising babies, and trying to keep it ALL TOGETHER. You have inspired me to seek my life’s dreams, and see life thru your camera lenses, your beautiful children’s faces, how in love you are with your hubbies, and how you serve your families, while creating, studying, rocking, decorating…mmmmmm life is good as I visit.
So I thank those who I get to check on daily, hope you don’t mind how often you see my message. My friend Kamee helped me to see that it is "leaving a little love" as we share our thoughts on cyber-pages. I know it is time for journaling those treasured times in life. Excited to hear that you can publish our blogs into books.
Thanks for writing, for reading, for sharing, for inspiring, for loving….. you have blessed my life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's all about 8!

My friend Emily tagged here ya go....

8 Things I am passionate about

1.The Gospel (Learning about and building a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ)
2. My Husband Russell – love of my life
3. My children and their growing families
4. My Jackson – he has a piece of my heart in Colorado…
5. My extended family – Nothing like the love of great people who love you back
6. My friends – amazing people that are there for me (I hope they know I will always do the same)
7. Taking Pictures to document all that I am passionate about
8. Creative outlets like writing, scrapbooking, blogging, sewing, painting & Crafting

8 things I want to do before I die

1. Be in the temple with all of my children
2. Go to the Sacred Grove and church historical sites and temples
3. Travel – mostly the United States then to foreign countries
4. Get a few of my children’s books published that I have written
5. Have my home organized and repaired.
6. Have a finished yard to enjoy entertaining in
7. Have a large extended family cruise vacation
8. Retire from working outside my home

8 things I say a lot

1. Fabulous...
2. I love you
3. thank you darlin’
4. Victress Bower School, this is Sheryl, can I help you?
5. How is Gramma’s Boy?
6. Gimme’ a hug
7. Do you need a tickle?
8. Whoo Hoo!

8 Books I have read as of lately
(had to get creative here, thanks for the inspiration Katie!)

1. Scriptures
2. The Ensign
3. The Peacegiver
4. Numbers (read to Jackson)
5. Shapes (read to Jackson)
6. Mary Englebrieght Nursery Rhymes (you guessed it...Jackson)
7. The Primary Handbook
8. Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley

8 Movies I have watched

1. White Christmas
2. While You Were Sleeping
3. Calamity Jane
4. PS I Love you
5. Holiday Inn
6. You’ve Got Mail
7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
8. Meet Me in St. Louis

8 Bloggers I tag
1. Sara
2. Lura
3. Kim
4. Stephanie (yes you!)
5. Joy (yes you!)
6. Lauri
7. Jana
8. Barbra

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First pictures from our Elder!

Our Cody was in the MTC for two months and did not send home any pictures until he left there 2 weeks ago. The big difference is that he is a digital photographer now, and he sent home his memory card for me to develop the pictures and make a disc. One bad thing about that is I have no discription really of who is who and what the relationship is to him. I can guess..... I did figure out who his companion was in the MTC, they got along really great, Elder Fleischel from Utah. Cody was called to be the District Leader for the second month of his stay there, so he also was pretty busy with his duties and learned a great deal from that experience. His Branch President and wife are pictured here. I know Cody really respected him and learned alot from meeting with him regarding his calling. Cody had gym time at the same time as Elder De La Cerda from our stake here in Corona. They sure look happy to be there don't they!!
Cody really enjoyed his weekly trips to the Provo Temple. He was able to do the work of the Lord in His Holy House, and loved those experiences.He was able to call us from the airport the night he left to Honduras. He is showing us here on the famous world map in the MTC where Honduras is. It was good to hear his voice, and even better to hear the things he wanted to talk to us about. His love and concern for his family, checking on his younger brother and his progress in preparing for a mission. Our study of Preach my Gospel. His excitement to get to the work of the Lord.

Then an excerpt from his first email...

Hello from honduras! I'm finally here, safe and sound so no worries mom. Thanks for the birthday wishes, its wierd that im 20 years old! So anyways im in a zone called Guaymuras, and the area I'm in is called Valencia. My new companion is Elder CĂșa, he's from El Salvador, and doesn't speak a lick of english haha. But thats ok I'm learning spanish faster that way. It was great being able to talk to you all on Monday.

I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for the atonement in my life. 1 reason is because Jesus Christ and the atonement is central to the plan of salvation, which many people need here with passed away members of the family. and 2nd is for the chance to be clean again and repent of our sins. Of course everyone needs to because were not perfect. In my area, we have two families with alchoholic dads, another with an abusive father, one inactive sister who just recently had an abortion, etc.It's sad to see this all happening. I've been praying for them everyday. But on the bright side we have a couple investigators who seem like they're progressing! Everything is so new to me, I'm still adjusting to small tiny houses and talking cold bucket showers every morning. and also sleeping with bug nets too. It's definetely out of my comfort zone, but its not about me at all. I'm so grateful for this calling and opportunity, I know it will bless others. The other day I got really homesick, it was bad. Every now and then I'll think about home but then I'll pray for help to stay focused on the work. I love you all and keep you in my prayers!

Con Amor,
Elder Cody Holmes

So as you can see he has his challenges, but also understands why he is there. Just keep him in your prayers and know that we are proud that our son is out there doing what the Lord has asked of him as a missionary in His Kingdom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday night date with my man!

I am at my desk, and the phone rings, I answer and hear the voice of my Prince Charming! He asks me on a Tuesday mind you, for a date. "I was thinking "say he, "of going down to the beach for dinner, and to walk around". "Absolutely" says I. So after the work day is over, we head off to Huntington Beach, for dinner at Ruby's at the end of the Pier.
I grew up in Huntington Beach, and Russell in Garden Grove. We both spent many a day and evening there on the beach, and it is on this beach where he proposed to me. On the way there I asked, "how come on a Tuesday?" and he said "With everything that has been going on in our lives, I haven't had you to myself" , (Ahhhhh, I know!)So we strolled down the Pier, and I asked my more reserved hubby if it would embarrass him too bad to take a picture of me on this bench, he was okay with it. We watched some surfing and some seagulls.
Then we made it to the diner, and got right in. When we came out it was dark, and the coast was lit up. we didn't grow up with the HB Coast all developed, it was a much simpler time.

It was also Tuesday night on Main St. Where there are performers selling their CD's, and a produce mart, and store selling their wares on the sidewalks.
We had to walk down on the shore before we left, and put our toes in the sand. Thank you my sweetie for a spontaneous romantical evening, holding hands and having quiet moments together. I love you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Blogger Award of my very Own!

I went to view my friend Lura's blog, as she gives blog awards on Wednesdays...and was I surprised that I was the recipient of this award! As she received it as a great honor from Marie in England, I too am honored to receive this lovely award as it continues to circle the blogging world (literally).
"This very beautiful award, an expression of the special threads of relationship and sisterhood connecting women, was created by the artist Tammy Vitale of Women, Art, Life: Weaving it All Together. Its purpose is to send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day, teach you new things, and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. "
Like any award, it comes with rules and obligations:
1. You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it’s up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post.
2. Link back to Tammy's blog: Women, Art, Life: Weaving it All Together (so Tammy can go visit all these wonderful women and see where, and who, the award has traveled to).
Giving such an award is tricky. Because of the criteria, there are so many....but I have been touched by so many of you my personal friends, and those who are like daughters. However, today I would like to pass this lovely award on to three family "friends" that have touched my heart this week.

First to my HEIDI - very own daughter. She came here on a bit of a vacation and was able to do that, but helped out alot with the wedding preparations as well. She is the fabulous momma of my Jackson, who would not be the amazing little guy he is without her nurturing, fun, loving personality that he learns daily from her. It is always magical watching them interact. Love you my Heidi baby!

Next - My sista Lori, (and her hubby Brent!) they are the ones who with their cutie boy Will, drive hundreds of miles to bless us with the gorgeous flowers for our kids weddings. They have sacrificed to do their floral magic for our 3 boys weddings. Just learning the blogging world, I know Lori will love it once she dives in. Their little family blesses our family no matter where they live. Right now in Provo Utah, they have been Brendon's safe harbor while he attended BYU, what more could a mother ask for.

Last but not least, my sister in law Sara. is always there for me....Hosting showers for my daughters in law, Offering her time and talents to help with the wedding preparations. Loving our family unconditionally, and sharing her cute kids with us. She is a convert to the church from her youth, and embraced everything about it. She is a wonderful example as she teaches her children with her hubby Phillip to walk uprightly before the Lord. I love her smile and her ability to create beauty wherever she goes. I am blessed that she is my Holmes sister.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


More pictures of our day! Please go to and witness the gift of Tonya behind the lense and with her words, amazing!

Monday, August 11, 2008

We had a Wedding!

And what a perfect wedding it was! Our photographer Tonya has not quite finished working her magic, but here is a sneak peek, she shared these with us on her blog. Tonya and her sister Gena (sorry for earlier wrong name!)spent the day with us, and we can see that we are going to love how they have captured our lovin' couple and their day. Isn't this fun!

Now for a few from us amateurs, we of course were busy being the family, so we did not take as many as we would like, but here are a few.... The dad and mom of the groom...

And the brothers and sisters of the groom - minus and truly missing our Elder Cody Holmes. (He leaves for Honduras tonight from the MTC, and we will be talking to him from the SLC airport, can't wait!) We also forgot Grant's matching tie, notice the smooth way he is trying not to show it~
At Brendon and Grant's we did not get pictures with our grandparents, so I made sure that was one of our first pictures. We had Grandma and Grandpa Holmes and Pitt, and Breana's only living grandmother...her Nana, who just celebrated her 90th birthday. Absolutely wonderful and we love that they were all with us in the Temple and for this great day.

Jackson is so glad his daddy is here with us for this special day....he missed his dad!
My sweetheart sister in law Sara Holmes. We could not have created this day without the selfless help of our dear family and friends. Sara was one who helped out alot!

The Holmes Girls all! Heidi now being a Shirley, we are so happy with our new daughters that our sons have added to our Eternal family...

Our forever is looking pretty great isn't it!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

that's what California is all about!

Yes, In-N-Out!
Heidi's hubby Matthew arrived on Wednesday evening late, and the first thing he requested.... In-n-out. It is also usually the first request of our Brendon, who arrived here with his sweet Stephanie tonight. So...Russell picked Steph and Brendon up at the airport, while I am still working on bridesmaid dresses for Heidi and Randi. We decided to meet at our favorite hamburger joint for dinner. Jackson was busy winning the hearts of BJ & Steph, and Heidi and Matt were happy to be sitting across from one another. Really I promise! Skyler just kept telling me how lame I was for taking pictures in In-N-Out. He was close to mortified, turning a few shades of red. So his dad showed him!We enjoyed double doubles animal style, fries... sodas abounding, some water for our Utahans, and a bit of Strawberry shake that was mostly stolen by someone's hubby. We'll get you another before you leave Steph!
AHHH, Nothing like the tastes and traditions of California!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Walking the Path

I am amazed often by the goodness of life as we participate in the ordinances of the Gospel. How truly joyful it is to witness, hear and feel the spirit working in my life and those that I love and care about. This weekend was a big one for the sweetness of these things.

On Saturday afternoon Brother Bill Baker in our ward. was baptized. Pretty exciting. The really wonderful part is that Bill is the Patriarch of a large family of active members of the church, and it was estimated that over his 39 years of taking Missionary lessons, he probably listened to about 500 young elders who taught, prayed and fasted for his acceptance of the Gospel. He attends church every week with his wife and his son's family who are also in our ward. Most would think he was already a member. In speaking with the Elders now serving in our ward, they said he just needed some clarification on a few things and accepted their invitation to be baptized. He chose his wife's birthday, she said it was by far "the best gift" she ever received. The joy on his children's faces, and his grandchildren who sang "Families Can Be Together Forever", was immeasurable.

From there we went to the San Diego Temple to be in attendance while our future daughter in law, Breana was able to go and participate in her ordinance work there. She was so prepared, and you could tell by the peace and joy on her face that it was a very special experience for her in preparation to be sealed to our Jordan this Saturday. It is quite a gift to receive these Wonderful new daughters and son into our family as they have prepared themselves to make and keep sacred covenants and work out their salvation along side our children. Absolutely amazing.

Nora Marie Holmes!

Finally, Sunday morning we were able to witness the baby blessing of our newest Holmes neice. Nora Marie Holmes. She is an angel and so beautiful, just like her momma Kayla (here with Heidi) and Nora's sister Meredith.

Her daddy is pretty great looking too. To be a part of such a wonderful family who each individually know who they are and how important their relationship is with their Savior Jesus Christ brings such joy to my life daily. They are all people I feel so blessed to have in my life. They are examples of Godly people who look upward and work hard to be the wonderful people they are. Here are just a few.....
Cousin Becki.. a new mommy herself!
Aunt Sue and Cousin Erma - Love these girls! Uncle Adam Kempler, Russell & Phillip have a good visit with the men folk!
We are so blessed!