Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Letter #16

This week, Quayd could use some extra prayers.  He's had a great week, but the reality that every person who looks like the could be the golden contact ISN'T has hit him hard.  I think that the holidays being here are bringing the reality of the fact that he's away from home is hitting him too.  He misses his family and friends.  If you happen to have a minute to send him a short note of encouragement, it would probably mean the world to him!   Email me and I'll send you his mission address! Here's this weeks SHORT letter and a few pix.

I love mission life. I love the people. I love the investigators that I've helped to grow.  We have 9 new investigators, 3 with baptism dates, 6 return appointments.  It's just been crazy and in the midst of it all, I've been worried and even a little down. 

I have a lot of things to be grateful for, like the lessons and appointments and people. We had the wonderful family, the Santos, that fed us Thanksgiving dinner… She's my other mission mom and Brother Santos loves me.  He gave me one of his ties and he hugged me and teased me about giving my talk.  He actually reminds me of Dad in a lot of ways.  They are awesome, along with the Rays family. 

For me, it's not numbers.  It's people that can have the gospel, have the light.  It's just hard to see them turn away from it. I'm hoping this isn't the case for ____.  She's come so far and we are towards the end. I just don't want to see them or her quitting or leaving. I'm not about numbers. I'm about helping people come into Christ, receive the blessings of the gospel and make life long friends. I love the families and members and investigators... _____, being one of them. I pray that her faith and willingness will be enough.

Mom, thank you for your words of support and thanks for putting my head on straight or tying my shoes so I can go out and do the work... even if it's raining a lot.... Haha 

Love you, Mom and thanks again.

Him and his bike accidents!!  Seriously!?!?

My weekly smile from our boy.  And doesn't the song say it never rains in California???


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend

Honestly, without my two girls, I just couldn't get half as much done!  They are amazing!  Grace didn't have school on Tuesday, so I opted to let Zee stay home too.  We went out for breakfast and did a few errands together.  I had already planned a lunch date with Kara a few weeks ago, so I dropped the girls off at the mall while Kara and I had lunch.  ZJ's friend, Drake met them at the mall and they spent a couple of hours together shopping.  We ran Drake home to Smithfield so that he could go to work and then came home to get busy in the kitchen.

The girls and I worked all afternoon and evening.  When Doug got home from work, he joined in, as well.  We took a break for them to go run and pick up some dinner for us.  We worked in the kitchen, with the exception of our dinner break and a little solo time in the hottub, until midnight, but when we went to bed, we had made six pies, an apple cake, Pumpkin Trifle, the stuffing, the sweet potato souffle and the cranberry salad.  The tables were set and Mr. Gobble was in the oven.

On Thanksgiving morning, we got up at 7 and started dinner.  All we do on Thanksgiving Day is make gravy, mashed potatoes and rolls.  Everything else is always ready to be reheated in time for dinner.  This dinner was flawless.  Every item on the menu turned out great!  Nothing burned, nothing underbaked, nothing forgotten.  It's awesome to pull off a meal of that size without missing something!  Most years, I just count on it.  This year, not a thing was off!  HAPPINESS!

One big surprise that we had was that Liza and Buddy ended up coming north to the valley for the weekend.  They'd been in Arizona the weekend before for a niece's baptism and a big birthday surprise for Buddy's dad. However, Buddy's dad had a simple medical procedure that ended up being the discovery and repair of something more than they'd expected, so Buddy's parents never made it from the hospital to Arizona.  Their original plan was the baptism in Arizona, followed by his whole family spending Thanksgiving in St. George at Liza and Buddy's.  Instead, the whole family moved their party to Buddy's folks' home where they could be with his parents.  As a result of that, Liza and Buddy came up Tuesday night and were able to come over for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day with us.  Buddy's family eats in the evening, so they got two Thanksgiving meals and we got to spend a little time with them!  HAPPINESS!!

Liza and Buddy got here around 11. Alan and Jill and their family started arriving at 12:30.  It was just was the rolls were going into the oven, so we were right on schedule for dinner!  We had a wonderful meal and good times gabbing.  In the middle of dinner, Dale texted a sweet message.  It really was a lovely afternoon.

There were several times that I was in tears, usually at the mention of Quayd.  I think that the hardest moment of the day for me, was when I sat the basket of rolls down at Buddy's end of the table.  The family joke for several years has been which of the two, Quayd or Buddy, is the "Roll Sheriff".  There was no question this year.  It was a good laugh but my heart longed for our son!  His words were "stoked" to have dinner with his "family" in Southern California.  It's so odd... his absence has been felt immensely since the day he left, but I think that the holidays are really sinking it in... two years is a long time!  I'm looking forward to his letter on Monday to hear about his Thanksgiving!

After dinner, Liza and Buddy had to disappear.  Aylabelle had spent her "swing" time with Grampy and lots of pix were taken.  Alan and Jill are our closest family members, so everyone was so comfortable together.  Alan and Jill are expecting their first grand, so it was fun to watch Liza and Jocilyn, who are due just 21 days apart, as they talked pregnancy.  The girls absolutely adore their cousin, Jake, who spends a lot of time here, so they loved having Jake here to tease them since they were missing their big brother too!  Alan did his fair share of teasing, which is always welcomed.  It really was a fun afternoon.  We played the LRC game with quarters and a gratitude game.

Instead of everyone expressing their gratitude at the table, we played a game where I asked everyone to write down three things that they are thankful for this past year... but not "Sunday School answers"  (No one could say family or the gospel.)  They were to answer with things that they were thankful for but things that most people wouldn't just naturally assume was them.  Then I read the lists and everyone guessed who said what.  It brought lots of laughs and raised eyebrows.  I was surprised that every male at the table said "Tools".  Seriously?  ZJ thought she'd be funny and wrote my "obvious" answers.  1.  Doug  2.  Emails  3.  Taipan, so that she would not be guessed because everyone would think I wrote that one.  She's one funny girl!

After games, we all cozied up and watched a movie and snitched on pie and trifle.  Everyone was gone by 9ish.  Doug and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Leap Year... well, Doug watched.  I was asleep in minutes.

Doug has been so sick.  SO sick.  He gets pnuemonia almost every single winter since he turned fifty. Usually, it's in January or February.  This year, it hit him hard early in November.  I've been praying for two weeks that I would remain healthy and not get his bug so that I could get the house decorated and Thanksgiving dinner cooked.  My prayers were answered.  I was fine all week long.  But, when I woke up from the Leap Year "nap", I felt awful!!

On Friday, Zaylee spent some time with us.  Everyone went on a hike, except me, of course.  This happened when Zaylee's dad came to get her.  Their whole family joined in!  She's growing so fast and so darn happy in her life.  It brings tears of joy to my eyes to hear her talk about her family.

On Saturday, Doug picked Drake up and he spent the whole day and evening with us.  Doug cooked - Pizza Hut for dinner.  I stayed wrapped up in a blanket while they all watched Grinch and Edward Scissorhands.

I have been on again, off again, sick since I woke up from that nap and after trying to "act" like I was fine for two days, on Saturday afternoon, I finally admitted, "I'm sick" and crawled into a blanket and have barely moved since.  I hope this passes quickly because it's Christmas and I have much fun and joy planned!  BRING IT ON!!!

Here's some pix from our day!

Aylabelle and Gramp loving the beautiful sunshiny afternoon!

Aylabelle takes the selfies now.

Gramp and Aylabelle snitching a few hugs before they left for Buddy's parents.

2 Banana Creams, 2 Dutch Apple, Sweet Potato, Cherry-Peach, 1 Sam's Club Pumpkin, Apple Cake and Pumpkin Trifle.

Uncle Alan kept putting her hood on and calling her a Christmas Elf.

Hugs goodbye... always the worst part of every visit is the goodbye.

Aylabelle loves all of the pocket doors in our home.

the last of the Fall Decor.

Notice the Diet Coke from the Chevron.  This was my favorite hostess gift EVER!  Right out of the fountain!  I didn't even pour it into my goblet!  Jocilyn and Kevin scored big brownie points with Aunt Sophia!  Actually, Kevin got the best brownie points of the day.  As they were leaving, he paid me a real compliment about how welcoming our home feels.  I was uber impressed that a young man could be so observant and gracious about holiday decorations.

I love Jill in this picture!  Jill is always a delight...beautiful inside and out!

A late movie after pies and desserts.

Another selfie by Aylabelle.  That smile melts my heart!

Carol found the trifle recipe on Pinterest last year.  This year, I opted not to make little individual cups and doubled the recipe in my trifle dish.  It was a huge hit!! 

Games after Liza and Buddy left.

The girls requested not to have a "kids table".  So, we opted at the last minute to not have a large banquet table for half of the group.  Our two young adult couples sat together instead of the "Kids".

Until the gifts have taken over, Zulu was loving his new cozy spot under the tree.

Another of my favorite quotes ever... it's out all year long, not just at Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our home is decorated for the holidays. The tables are set. Mr. Gobble is in the oven.  Six pies are made. One pie is bought. An apple cake.  A pumpkin trifle. Salads are prepared.  We can rest well and get up in the morning to make rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy.  The rest is done!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Doug bought me this fabulous sign, which was delivered tonight.  I had no intention of putting it away after Thanksgiving because these three words describe how I feel about life every day of the year, not just November!

It's been a busy and productive week.  Now, BRING ON THE HOLIDAYS!  I am more than ready!  Mostly, I am blessed.  Quayd is going to a family that he loves for Thanksgiving Dinner.  He is loving his mission.  The girls are home and happy.  Liza and Buddy came up for a very unexpected trip at Buddy's family's and will be able to have a few hours with us on Thanksgiving Day.  We are healthy, happy and blessed.  Life is good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

shortest letter yet!

I was terribly disappointed this week that Quayd's time was so short.  He didn't even give a weekly report.  BUT, I was EVER SO THANKFUL that he is being cared for on Thanksgiving and is so excited about it!  I pray for the people in California to take care of our boy every day!  Happy Thanksgiving!  

I love you so much! Sorry this email session is going to be really short. We are having Thanksgiving with the Santos family which I'm pumped for!!!!! Christmas... I haven't even thought of that, except for the Christmas Initiative - the 25 days to become more Christ-like. I think you should do that as a family, it's really cool!!!!! Sorry, Mom, it's been crazy and sometimes I hate that we have to be with companions because I can't talk to you that long.  But,  I'll talk to you next week!  Love you!!  Have a good thanksgiving!!! 

Love, Elder Corbridge

This good looking guy in the middle, for family who are not close or know, is my good friend, Natalie's son.  Quayd and he have grown up together.  They are serving in the same mission, left the same day together, and are currently in the zone next to each other.

Friday, November 18, 2016

a recipe and a tradition

These delicious treats (on the long platter) were out of this world... sort of a cross between what we call Dog Food (Muddie Buddies) and Rice Krispy Treats... oh my!  I'm posting the text that I got from Kelli because she said that the Strudel on the top is also very good!

Oreo No-Bakes

And, today, a very fun Thanksgiving idea that I've never heard of!  I take turns driving with one of our girls from YW.  Lorna has so much personality!  This morning, I asked if they were having Thanksgiving at home or going somewhere else.  She said that they have so many people coming that they don't know where they will put them all.  Then, she shared that she has the task of "hiding the cranberries."  Never heard of that one, so I asked... She said, "Ya know that last fifteen minutes before dinner, when everyone wants to be in the kitchen... We have a hunt for hidden cranberries with clues and everything.  We tell everyone that we can't have dinner without the cranberries, so we need to search for them. The clues lead us to them and it keeps everyone occupied until dinner is ready."  So clever!  As I get more grands, I think we may adopt this fun new tradition!

Love it!  Life is good!  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

chillin'.... literally!

On Monday, I joined Carol and her mom, Mary, for breakfast and cards.  Mary celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday.  She was my Relief Society President when I turned thirty.  I adore this woman!  She's an example of enduring to the end!  Mary played tennis on a league until just five years ago.  We play Hand and Foot with her about once a week.  Carol does almost every day.  I just love her!  She's raised seven children, buried three husbands and is just as sweet as ever.  I love to hear her stories of raising a family on an Idaho farm and serving throughout her life in the church. Her Happy Birthday Open House, honoring her on this big 90th birthday was just delightful.  She was beaming!  She's one of my favorite ladies ever!  Isn't she lovely!

It's been a relaxing week after three major events in two weeks...the ward Halloween Party, the Veterans Dinner and then YW in Excellence.  This week...hottubbing, lunches, daily Sonic runs with Carol, Denise and Ann,  time spent studying my YW lesson for this Sunday, YW meetings and some serious thinking about Thanksgiving and the holidays. They are here!  It's November and I usually post a daily gratitude.  This year, I'm so busy enjoying my blessings that I've not taken time to express them, but suffice it to say, I feel so blessed.

On Monday, while I was writing back and forth with Quayd, I called ZJ up for our weekly group selfie for him.  ZJ came upstairs looking like this, and said, "I have a headache."  This girl... she makes me laugh.

This sounds sort of morbid, but it was fascinating.  Zee and I drive past the Logan Cemetery often, as it's one of the main streets near our home.  Often, we will see caskets sitting alone above the graves, waiting to be buried.  This time, these men were just beginning to place the casket in a grave.  We didn't know who's grave it was, but we pulled over into the cemetery and watched them from a distance.  It was fascinating to see how this process has changed over the past 25 years, since I watched them place my Grannie's casket in her North Carolina grave before anyone had even left the cemetery.  Technology has even improved burials! Zee and I watched until they had placed the headstone back on the grave.  We were impressed by the reverence these men showed to the deceased.  Strange, I know, but it was a learning experience and gave ZJ and I a chance to visit about several things about death.

It finally snowed!  We had our first storm.  This was while taking the girls to school. We got about three inches in our neighborhood!  Now, it's sixteen degrees and COLD!  From 60s t0 16... brrrrrr!

Goodbye fall decor!  Christmas is happening at our home, this weekend, as soon as my YW lesson is ready to share!

Life is good!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quayd's Letter 14

It's awesome to hear that he's so happy and loves this work!

This week has been one stellar week!!!!! It's incredible what happens in the work of salvation and the gathering the children of Israel.  We have had great success!  We made a lot of street contacts and have had a ton of lessons!  One day, we had five lessons!  Craziness!

Some investigators dropped us, which I had kind of hoped they haven't, but, they did.  It’s funny… some of our former investigators we checked on them to see how they were doing. The results for most of them were

Like Brandon, a couple weeks ago, he was all about being baptized, but, now, he wants nothing to do with the church.???  He's hanging with the wrong friends and has gotten in trouble with the cops. All this in just a couple
weeks.  It just shows how much Satan is real and what he can do to those who have had it good, have been extremely blessed and then how he (Satan) can change them and their lifestyle and make them miserable!   Kevin is doing drugs.  All this in just a couple weeks.  I hope and pray for those that we are teaching this week.

Anyway besides the opposition, these couple of weeks have been amazing. Elder Klingler is the coolest missionary ever!  He's still different, but I love him.  He's so positive and very obedient. I am blessed to have him as my companion.

This week has been very eventful. We met many people, including this one guy named Zeferino. He said that he would go to church and he actually did! I don't think he understands the whole going to church, learning about Christ and the gospel, but hey, he is going in the right direction.  It was funny one of my favorite families in the ward, Brother Santos asked him, “What did you learn today, Zeferino?”  This was his response, “ENGLISH!!!!!!” He did come to come to church to learn English, but, after learning about Christ and families and gospel principles, that was his response.  It's just funny what people do, but, the good think is Zeferino is coming back to church because he feels good.  So, he's definitely heading to the right direction.  I SMELL A BAPTISM COMING ON!

Michael:  haha He's funny.  He got out of jail 8 days ago and has a desire to know about Christ, which is awesome.  He wanted a video, called “The Passion of Christ.”  We gave him something else, called “Finding faith in Christ” and also “The Restoration”.  We went to his house, gave him the videos and he read “Finding faith in Christ” and said, “Yea, this is the one, but, he looked at The Restoration and asked, “What is this one?”
Nailed it! I taught him the restoration and explained the first vision. He watched both movies and told us to come back! Now the second time, my companion had a flat tire, so, we were about an hour late.  He had told us that he was having a party after coming out of jail.  Yeah, I could see a celebration happening. It was his sisters party.  So, we went on over to teach our message.  First thing I saw was people smoking, girls dressed immodestly and the stark reaction of the people's faces was priceless when they got a glimpse of Elder Klingler and I, hesitantly, entering the party! I was nervous.  The spirit felt like it was gone, but I felt the warning signs, so I still had the guidance. We actually became friends with most of the people, but, we booked it out of there and asked Michael if we could return some other time.   He said yes!

Oscar:  His family is awesome!  They have two boys, Jayden and Braken. These boys are 7 and are identical twins.  They are full of adventure and are very crazy!  Their hero is Flash, so, they are crazy running around the place super fast!  It just reminds me of when I was a kid, being Spider-Man. haha I'm so thankful for my parents patience because Oscar doesn't have that much! ;)  Anyway, we taught his family the Restoration!

Brian:  He was a Jehovah Witness, but left because he disagreed with a lot of . Things his life was turned into something dark.  We talked to him and shared a brief introduction of being missionaries and how we can bless
people's lives.  He started crying and saying he wants God in his life.  We are meeting him this Tuesday.

Heavenly Father will bless us if we are striving for opportunities and this is what has happened for my companion and I.

Elder Corbridge

a family that they are teaching

His weekly silly selfie so that his mom gets to see that smile at the end of our letter writing!  Silly, goofy, or genuine, his smile makes me happy!

 Elder C and Elder K.  They are an awesome team!

Monday, November 14, 2016

YW in Excellence Night!

For the past several weeks, preparing for our Ward Young Women in Excellence has been my every other thought. Our president, Kelli, calls me the Event Coordinator of YW and, for that, I am thankful!Assignments were made and I'd already started buying and making things for the decor and for the girls weeks ago, but the actual talk that I would give did not really fall into place until a personal experience really touched my hear recently. Instantly, I knew what needed to be said!

I love how the Spirit works that way!  We never know why we don't get the answers we are praying for when we are praying for them.  Then, when we do, we totally understand that "this had to happen for that to happen...."  I call that a tender mercy, a reminder that Heavenly Father was "lining things up" for me all along!  Thankfully, that happens a lot in my life!  I think that's part of my life lesson on patience that, hopefully, by the time I'm dead, I will have learned!  (Wink-wink!)


The evening went so well.  Our attendance was a little disappointing, as we had a few girls with legitimate excuses for not being there, but, I was hoping for them all to come and share in the experience!

Anyway, here are a few pix of the night.

I picked up the fun pinwheels in SLC on my last "playdate" with friend Marilyn.  I'm so happy that we found them!

Here's me, trying to take a picture and touching the wrong button.  I take so many ugly photos of myself while trying take photos of something cool!  ha!

Blogspot uploaded them backwards, but I'm just going to leave them in this order.  

Ann and I spent half the day on Saturday in the Bluebird Candy Factory, where she works.  We dipped chocolate for hours!  These were the Oreos.  Thins and Double-stuffed.  White chocolate dipped Oreos and Milk Chocolate dipped Vanilla Oreos.

White powdered donuts were an obvious choice!

The white balls in the brown paper cups were Oreo Truffles made by Meghan, our advisor/Personal Progress Advisor.

On the opposite side of the Relief Society Room, we set up three long banquet tables for the girls to display their items that represent their personal progress projects for the year.  Each girl took a moment to share a bit about themselves.  It turned out so nice!  We had one girl play "Taps" on her Melaphone, at the bishop's impromptu request.  Another played scales on her clarinet.  There was art, canning, sports equipment, scriptures... It was all awesome!  Each girl is so diverse and unique, which was the purpose of our evening!  It was really fun to "get to know" the girls a bit more by seeing them share things that excite them.

Our program was quite simple.  I gave a ten-minute talk to introduce the evening and the vision that we had for the night.  Each of the girls, then, shared their talents.  The Bishop spoke for about ten minutes and then we had a chocolate fest.  Short and sweet!

 (BTW, a special note to Marilyn... guess who's paintings on are on the wall!?)

All of the quotes had to do with how awesome life is and how unique it is to BE YOU!

 More quotes... all simple black and white!

Doug used to refer to the Relief Society monthly weekday Homemaking activity as "Homewrecking" because I would take apart half the house and haul it to the church for decorating.  Nowadays, it's for YW, but he hasn't come up with a clever name yet.  Give him time.  It will come. ;)

 Here's our awesome presidency and advisor.  Left to right, Val is our fun secretary. She's also the sister of my sister-in-law, Alene.  I've loved getting to know her better in YW! Ann, the other awesome counselor that has fast become my sweet friend and cohort!  She loves a Sonic Run as much as I do, so it's become a must before any weekday activity.  Kelli, our beautiful president, who has to have the sweetest spirit and kindest heart I've ever known!  Not to mention, she's a Barbie Doll in fashion and style.  LOVE her!  I'm the Second Counselor.  Meghan is our enthusiastic Personal Progress leader and advisor.  

Ann and I dipped pretzels as well as Oreos.  Aren't they beautiful!  Oh my word, they were delish!  I have decided that I now LOVE white chocolate even more than milk... well, at least on pretzels!

Water was the only option for beverage.  With all that chocolate, even I didn't want a diet coke!  ;)

The podium chalkboard sign was unique talents and interests.  The message on the large chalkboard was the message we wanted to send to each of the girls!

 Ann made these gorgeous cake balls in the three-tiered tray.  You'd think that she dips chocolate for a living! Wait, she does! They were so beautiful and soooooo good!  The long platter is a treat that I will be getting the recipe for from Kelli... it's sort of a cross between Rice Krispy Treats and Puppy Chow.  OH MY!!!!

Here's a close-up of both of my girls "Cameo" silhouettes that we made.  Meghan took p
This was probably my most favorite thing that we've done in the YW yet.  I miss being in Relief Society and working on big projects, but this is such a busy calling with all of the activities, events, meetings and lessons.  One thing that I did realize this past week, between the veterans dinner and then last night... our girls don't know a lot about entertaining and setting tables and such.  It sounds like a project to pursue! 

 I think that this YW calling is really helping me grow. I joke a lot about being too southern and too old for this calling, but it's really and truly helping me grow and learn. We are never too old for that! I love it!  I especially love working with these great women and getting to know the girls.  I met with our Kelli for a bit this afternoon to discuss some upcoming things.  As I drove away from her home, I was reminded that I am blessed to be in this position to serve these girls.  It feels great!  One thing is for certain in the LDS Church, we will have opportunities for service and growth!  I love that!

Life is good!