Wednesday, March 31, 2010

missing them already

Carter, Amy, Lincoln, Chris, Kenadee
But it feels like we've known each other forever.
Oh my!
We will miss them.
But I think I will miss them most of all.
I love you my little sweetie-pies
(that includes you Amy)

happy birthday BRAD

Wow. Do you realize I've been married to you for way more of your birthdays than those you celebrated without me?
Here are some of the things I love about you:
*your sense of ADVENTURE is contagious
*babies and toddlers LOVE you
*no one can TELL A STORY like you can
*you can turn a chaotic yard into a PARADISE
*I not only get to listen to your amazing MUSICAL talents
*but you've also PASSED THEM ON to our kids!
*you are SO HANDSOME
*FAMILY is #1 to you
*you love THE LORD
I love you Brad.
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

His Image

Last night was wonderful.
The girls and I attended the
then ate dinner together with the rest of those in attendance.
We capped the night off with a fun little shopping trip to Marshalls.
The conference was amazing.
Every talk was inspirational.
Today the girls and I decided to each write a blog post about some aspect of the conference.
I chose a segment of Sister Dalton's talk.
She talked about beauty. Real beauty. I wish I'd have written this down so I could quote her exactly, but she said something like:
"Having His Image in your countenance ... that's real beauty. That's lasting beauty."
She told about visiting President and Sister McKay in their home when she was a student at BYU and how beautiful Sister McKay was. She told us her beauty is the kind that can't be purchased, it can't be surgically implanted, it can't be painted on. It comes from having the Holy Ghost in your life and following the promptings of the Spirit.
I'm walking away from the computer now to write on the kids' bathroom mirror.
It's going to say:
"His Image in your countenance ... that's real beauty"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

thinking of Mom

Azure, Brooke, MY MOTHER, Denalee, Caci, Sierra
taken Thanksgiving 2009
Mom is on my mind.
This story below shows what a great Mom I have.
She was great when I was little, and she's great now.

The Silver Dollar Tree

Madison Elementary School was just across the street and through a field from our home. I was just 6-years-old and in a combined 1st & 2nd Grade class. Mrs. Wadlow was one of those teachers a child idolizes and never forgets. I still have the broken china horse and buggy she let me pick out from her gifts for students one year. The last time I corresponded with Mrs. Wadlow was right before my mission. I sent her a letter telling of my mission call; she sent a congratulations letter. When I returned from my mission I sent her a letter only to have it returned. I suspect she had passed away. Every day in Mrs. Wadlow’s class was enjoyable. After school I’d saunter through the field on my way home, often stepping off the path to pick up a horney-toad or examine a lone flower growing in the dry field of dirt. One day on my way home I took in the beauty of a young tree. The leaves seemed to shimmer as the breeze passed by and I found myself wanting to look at the tree forever. Although just a little tree, I knew it was way too big for me to dig it up and take home. So I determined to grow one of my own.

Plucking a leaf from this magical looking tree I hurried home to share the good news with my mother. I told her I really, really wanted my own sparkling tree, and asked for a little plot of dirt in our yard to plant it. Mom took me out to the breezeway, handed me a spoon and showed me where to dig. Years later I asked my mom why she didn’t tell me that you can’t grow a tree from a leaf. Her response: “Who am I to say what can and can’t happen with enough faith?” I prayed over that little leaf every day, knowing that it is Heavenly Father who created the leaf, and He would create my new tree. I remember taking a cup of water to the breezeway each day before school to water my leaf. Each day after school, I’d zip home to check on my tree. Every prayer I said included a request for blessings on my tree. One day I was rewarded. A sprout was shooting up right where I had been watering each day. Excitedly, I called to Mom as I ran into the house. My tree was finally growing! I would have my own tree that would glisten in the breezeway! My tree became my project. Daily I’d water the little seedling. Weeks passed, then months. Finally one day the plant started to get leaves of its own. Much to my mother’s amazement, this little plant really was a silver dollar tree! My leaf was now a tree. Now, more than 40 years later, I sit at the computer reading up on silver dollar trees. While searching the internet for “how to propagate a silver dollar tree” it’s clear that one must have a root-cutting for a new tree to grow. I suspect my mother already knew that you must start with a rooted plant … but because of her wisdom and her nurturing spirit, she not only provided the spoon and the plot, but she provided the encouragement and support necessary for a young girl’s faith to be exercised and grown.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

my progress

I'm really happy that the Church opened up Personal Progress to mothers and other women in the Church. Here's why:
I've had some things in the back of my mind
that I've been wanting to accomplish for quite some time.
I've just felt like I haven't had the time ...
(isn't that always the case?)
Well, Personal Progress is the motivation I need to actually get to these tasks.
Here's an example of some of my long-delayed goals:
* transcribe my missionary journal, print out copies and have them bound for my kids
* do a will (yup ... I've had statements of wishes, but no will)
* finish my book (details to come at some later date)
... and lots, lots more.
Added benefit:
Each day carries lots of purpose for me.
I'm now not just doing the must-do-mundane and trying to do something worthwhile each day. Rather I absolutely accomplish something (often somethingS) worthwhile every day!
How grateful I am for inspired leaders!

Monday, March 22, 2010

sunday quote

yes, yes, yes ... i know i'm a little late
but better late than never:
"[The] ability to turn everything into something good appears to be
a godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to
do this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory to the
Lord. Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate,
nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the
commandments and made something very good of his degrading
circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated. . ."
Hartman Rector, Jr.
This came from our Sunday School lesson yesterday. This week I will focus on how good I have it! I will look to find the ways my situation may be a victory with the help of the Lord.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Part of Sierra's 16th birthday celebration
included a night on the strip to see Australia's Human Nature
(amazing performance ... I highly recommend it!)
This pic was taken right after the show - before our little experience I'm writing about
This is Carli Udall, Azure & Sierra
When Valet drove up in our car and we all climbed in, I was bummed to see I could exit only one way - opposite of the way I wanted to go.
If you know me well, you know I'm a direction-infant. I simply cannot navigate very well.
But I did know that I could get on one freeway at one end of the strip, and another freeway at the other --- all roads lead home. One way just takes longer.
So, as I turned the wrong way on Las Vegas Blvd, I glanced down to see the fuel light on.
I knew when we left home I needed to get gas, but was having so much fun with the girls that I honestly forgot. Yikes! No gas, going the wrong way, on a bumper-to-bumper street.
I asked Az if she'd say a prayer that we make it to a gas station.
She did.
As soon as everyone said "amen" Carli said:
"Hey look! The gas light went off!"
Gratefully, we drove along the strip hoping for a gas station.
Nope - not a one in sight.
So with the gas light still off, we got on the freeway and headed toward home.
Got off at our exit, knowing there was a gas station there.
We pulled into the gas station and as we pulled right up to the pump, we all watched as the gas light popped on.
This incident came just 2 days after the girls and I worked on 2 faith requirements for personal progress.
neat, huh!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

raw meatloaf ... smoke alarm ... PSHAW!

cake made by Nancy Olson ... those are sugared roses & sugared rosemary ~ mmmm!
in preparation for our big Relief Society Birthday Party
last night,
I found a great meatloaf recipe from cracker barrel
to feed 42.
perfect! i just doubled the recipe
then divided it into 4 big pans for sisters to cook and bring.
i made the centerpieces from dollar-store base & windmill ... flowers from lowes. total cost: $3 each!
the recipe got rave reviews on the site, so it seemed like a safe bet.
apparently the cooking time was very wrong!
we had meatloaf arrive RAW
so we cranked the ovens up to 400 and filled them with meatloaf;
changed the program to do the games and activities 1st
to give the meatloaf time to cook.
mid-way thru the evening every smoke alarm in the building went off
and trust me:
those are LOUD alarms!
our nursery filled with about 20 kids and a half dozen high priests
zipped out to the parking lot;
the other ward's scouts and YW, although seemingly confused, appeared to carry-on in their respective rooms ... while we scrambled wildly to open every door,
turn on every fan, and grab whatever we could
to fan the smoke out of the building.
our YM and their leaders were there to serve us and managed the airing out of the kitchen
of course, this is the night we invited our bishopric, our YW
the stake rs presidency
we had nearly 70 people in attendance
and the night was filled with fun
the young women seemed to mingle well with all of us old women
and the young men were AMAZING as our servers
but i can't say i'm not glad it's over :)
pictures taken BEFORE the smoke alarm

Monday, March 15, 2010

you are my sunshine ...

love that song!
when Sierra was a baby, her nick-name was "sunshine"
and brooke ...
well, when i think of "you are my sunshine"
i can't help but hear brooke playing her concertina
and singing at the docks and downtown sitka
she was darling!
speaking of brooke and sunshine,
THANKS for the really sweet
blogging surprise:
the sunshine award!
i totally LOVE all the blogs i read
(that's why i follow them!)
so it was hard to pick out just 3 to pass the award to
but here goes:
i chose
pass it on if you'd like, to other bloggers
who bring sunshine to your daily reads

Sunday, March 14, 2010

sunday quote

"Discerning and accepting the will of God in our lives are fundamental elements of asking in faith in meaningful prayer"
The girls and I read this today while we were working on personal progress together outside in our perfect weather....
only one problem:
we were so comfortable that Azure actually fell asleep.
Take a look:
Azure has the silliest tan lines only on the left side of her body :)
Together we passed off 2 requirements.
One of them included my mom ~ yes, she's also working on personal progress!
Isn't technology great?!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

oh mr. sun, sun ... mr. golden sun

... please shine down on me!!!
62 degrees, a bit of a breeze, and sun shining ...
perfect weather!
Brad's at work, so the kids and I
spent the morning helping some friends move -
then came home to make plans.
We made our plans while sitting in lawn chairs
in the back yard ...
and after making the plans
I continued to sit, and relax
and soak it all in.
So nice!!!
(Now, if it could stay in the 60s for a bit longer I'll be thrilled!!!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

happy birthday SIERRA

hard to believe our little baby girl
is already celebrating being
sweet 16
here are some of the things
i love about Sierra ...
sierra is:
gentle, tender, kind-hearted,
patient, teachable,
has learned to step out of her comfort zone
in order to progress,
aware of the beauty around her,
poised, hard-working,
i love my sierra

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ugh ... really???!!!

well, the mooshy, flopping Las Vegas economy
has slapped us again!
Las Vegas One
(the channel our tv show was aired on)
has gone bankrupt and is off the air.
one more station in las vegas has gone off the air
this means everyone who had shows on these channels
bought up all the air time on all the other channels
so for now
adios to future seasons of

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

just what the doctor ordered ...

Thanks to my sweet sister, Jen, I spent the weekend in Colorado.
I was there to celebrate her son's Eagle Scout rank advancement
and her grandson's blessing.
Diane is Jennilyn's daughter. She & Andy had lots of people show up to celebrate, including Andy's parents and brother and cousin, Diane's entire family, her Grandma Eckersley, my brother, parents and myself. A pretty good showing!
This was really neat ... Eric's Grandma Eckersley, and Grandma & Grandpa Call were there to see his rank advancement. (PS - aren't my parents gorgeous?!)
And although I did indeed celebrate those events,
mostly I basked in the comfort of being my parents' child and my siblings' sister.
I don't think any of us can count the hours we spent playing
I come from a game-playing-family so this was amazingly fun and relaxing
I had to put this picture in just because :)
... Dad, Darryn & I were in the church entry dutifully waiting for everyone else to arrive so we could take family pictures with the many, many people who showed up for little Steven Christopher Sheafor's blessing ...
and if you know me, you know i can't just stand around with a camera in my hand
so i took pictures of myself

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 things i love

*1* the essential oil ANGELICA i actually crave this scent!
"Generally, Angelica Oil is a perfect natural stimulant and general tonic for vigorous health and wellbeing. It is believed that detoxifies body and blood and can aim the healing of various digestion, respiratory and skin conditions."
*2* having my feet massaged
If anyone ever wants to give me a great gift: nothing can beat a foot massage!
*3* 60-something degree weather, rain or shine, inviting a brisk walk ... nothing more invigorating!
*4* lipstick
i'm not a big lover of make-up, but i think lipstick is gorgeous! i love all colors ... check out these shades
*5* frozen cherries and frozen blueberries in a bowl of milk for dessert
since joining up for Brooke's Biggest Loser Contest i've still been unable to go completely without sweets. this is the perfect substitute. and on the weight-watchers chart, it's only a total of 4 points! put the frozen berries in the bowl, cover with 2% milk and the milk freezes around the fruit making an ice-cream-like dessert ... what a treat!!!!
what 5 things do YOU love today?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

happy anniversary

Brad & Denalee
March 3, 1982
Washington DC Temple
i love you

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ethyl's vs theobroma

it's pretty fun ... and a way to get a few bucks
and sometimes some free stuff.
like chocolate.
today I mystery shopped at ethyl's in henderson
it's a really neat place - right next to a huge cactus garden
to get to the actual chocolate store you walk thru hallways where you can look thru the glass to watch the chocolate being made.
it's neat.
and the chocolate is tasty.
but let's compare:
i lived for 12 years in beautiful sitka, alaska
home of
(food of the gods)
theobroma has less variety
but is also less expensive.
they offer unlimited samples :)
both tasty
but unlimited samples???!!!
ps: you can order theobroma here
nope - no one is paying me to say this
and i only got $5 for this mystery shop
BUT i get reimbursed for the $30 i spent on chocolate there :)