Overwhelmed with Gratitude

11:30 "Here's some enchiladas my father made," she said handing us the dish with fresh home-made Mexican food.
12:30 "Here's some really good hamburger meat that we can't eat because our freezer is full...why don't you take these 3 packages?" they asked as I drove by and waved.
4:30 "Here's a little Halloween token because you've been so good to us," said the new neighbor handing me a box of Mrs. See's chocolates.

Not every Saturday is like this, in fact, NO Saturday is like this, but my heart was full of gratitude for good, good neighbors.

Goodness and thoughtfulness and generosity transcend religion, race, and creed.

Happy Halloween!

From 2003:
8 months pregnant, but who can tell?

Here's Dave Barry's delightful take on Halloween!


Volunteering at the Family History Center

This describes the people who come in to the Family History Center...but it doesn't really explain why I enjoy it so much...but I do!
Tip Number One : If you double click on the picture, you will see it in a larger window, and you will be able to read it much better.
Tip Number two: Create your own wordle here:

Time for Halloween Visiting Teaching

I've made these Bloody Finger cookies for a lot of years now.

(Thanks, Jenni for the simple peanut butter candy recipe...no cooking involved.)
It's so fun to see the kids' reactions.
Because I always tell them to watch out for the BONE (pretzel) inside the finger!

Happy Halloween!

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Sleeping with the FRENEMY

By day, he is my friend; kind, pleasant, helpful, fun.
By night, he is my enemy, and he becomes armed (a play on words here), and dangerous!
For you see, in the night, he moves into position. Lying on his back, with his arms folded under his head with elbows protruding onto my territory.
I often get whacked in the eye, chin, face, other eye.


Favorite Picture Day

Looking Back Just a Few Short Years:

This is the view out our front window from the first little home
we bought in St. George:

Canyon Cove number 3...loved living here for a very short time before we moved up the street to number 28.

Great neighbors, people, friends, and ward.
Ahhhh, the memories.


What Was That Number Again?!?!?!

"Fifteen thousand," he repeated.
Even the other young people at the table were astounded.
"What can I say? I have a lot of friends," he added.
A lot of friends, a lot to say....
text messages per month.


Job Well Done

Thanks, taste buds, for doing your job so well.
I don't thank you often enough, but I'm very grateful you are on the job daily.


A Bishop's Honesty

"Hello, Bishop," RAH said as we saw Bishop Thompson in the produce aisle of wal*mart.

Sticking out his hand to shake with the bishop, RAH said, "Oh, I guess we're not supposed to be shaking hands?"

"Why not?"

"Because of the H1N1 flu..."

"Oh," Bishop Thompson said looking straight at us, "Old people don't get the flu!"

Then he tried to recover his statement.

But, it was too late; his honesty caught him. And, we all three laughed.


Step Aside Rice Krispies!

Snap! Crackle! Pop!
That description doesn't just fit Rice Krispies....how about God's own food?
The lovely red pomegranate....
Tasty wasty...
Try it in Yogurt (not that good, really)
Put it in a fruit salad (really very good)
It's mighty delectable in cole slaw (thanks, Ellen, for that tip!)
Make juice (thanks, RAH, when you do that!)
Make jellly like my friend Dot does....too much work for me, however.

Or, just plop a handful in your mouth for a really fine SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!

NOTE: All this works best if you can get the spouse to do all the work of getting those tricky little seeds out of the hard shell.

However you get the seeds out and whatever you do with them, they are a mighty fine, tasty fall treat!


What I Am.....

John Adams by McCullogh
(Thanks, Jenni and Lois, and everyone else on the planet
for this recommendation.)
Blood on the River
a fictional account about the settlement of Jamestown
(Thanks, Bridger, for the recommendation.)
Birkenstock Sandals
purchased at a seemingly high cost in the early 1990s. The souls under the toes on both shoes are thrashed, but the shoes are still comfortable, and I will wear them until they totally fall apart.
fresh pomegranates and figs from our back yard
(and a chocolate marshmallow cookie, not from our back yard.)
Volunteering once a week at the Family History Center where
we served two missions.
Watching on television:
Lark Rise to Candleford
(Thanks, Natalie for the suggestion of this great BBC series.)
Monk - Final Season
Shark Tank
Working on:
projects for Christmas
Family history
Still going through my parents' boxes of "stuff"


My Little Corner of the World

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
-St. Augustine
Manhatten, Long Island, Charlottesville, Washington DC, Vancouver, Flagstaff, San Diego, Pacific Beach, England..
are all places we have visited in the last year.
Glorious places, gorgeous settings, incredible sights, marvelous people.
But, I'm always glad to return to:
My Little Corner of the World: St. George, Utah

Joy in the Morning

Joy in the Morning came twice:
First, the Kaaiakamanus met us for our church at 11: o'clock. It has been a few years since we had seen them...so it was a great reunion.
They spent the evening with us and the second joy in the morning came as
we fed them breakfast before they went on their way.
Oh, good friends are a rich, rich blessing.
Thank you, Vern and Betty for enriching our lives over many, many years.


It's a Gamble:

Date: Saturday Night, October 17, 2009

Place: Virgin River Casino, Mesquite Nevada

Time: 6 p.m.

Scene: smoky, dark, crowded room filled with people sitting at slots...mostly senior citizens, whom I would think could least afford to lose money

Happiness Level of gambling participants: low, low, low, everyone seemed very somber, but then, no one's very happy when losing money, right?!?!

Happiness Level of RAH & MOI: high, high, high

Reason: Prime Rib dinner for $4.99 - after driving from Southern California for eight hours with very little to eat or drink, we were PRIMED for a great dinner of Prime Rib, incredible baked potato, veggies, & rolls

We walked out winners !


I Believe in Prayer!

yes, I do!

Flash! News Bulletin

It's NOT just for kids!

Convenient Truth

It's true -
like microwave popcorn,or
TIVO, or
instant Internet, or
drive-by flu clinics where I don't even get out of the car to get my flu shot.

I'm all about CONVENIENCE.

So, to stay in a condo with the car parking garage a long way away....

Well, that's INconvenient.

I left something in the car yesterday, but I wasn't willing to walk down the steep stairs

and the long way to the garage.

So, there's one more thing to add to my gratitude list:

a garage attached to my home!


What a Wonderul World

I see skies of blue.....
clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights

And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.


Report Card Day

Straight F's.

How could any one person get all F's?

Had she not been listening at all?

Where was her head when those around were paying attention and getting it?

This was not in her plan.

Could she turn things around? Was it too late to redeem herself? Could she get back on track?

Stay tuned.


California Dreaming!

As we sat watching and listening to the waves crash against the rocks, RAH asked, "Do you think if you lived here, you would tire of this?"

Hmmmmmmmmmm...good question.

I quickly got tired of the snow in Rexburg.

I was in Seattle once for two weeks when it rained every day and I got tired of rain every day.

I get a little annoyed and tired of the over 100-degree weather in St. George (although in general, I love St. George weather).

So, would I tire of the beach?

Perhaps we should move here to see!


Les Elegant

Who wouldn't just love this striking room as your living room?

It's so tastefully decorated. Don't you just love how it's simple, yet elegant?!?!?!?

It is always clean and neat (as is the rest of the home).

Yet, three rambunctious, happy, playful BOYS and a very lively puppy/dog live in this beautiful home.

How does she do it?

Her boys play with toys, her boys run and wrestle, her boys have friends over, her boys are typical fun-loving boys. She doesn't forbid them from playing in this lovely home, but she has trained them to put things away.

There are places for everything, and it's all tidy and organized and neat.

Yep, it's for real!

The Pinching Grandma

His father won't let him do it to him.

His brothers won't let him to it to them.

Because, you see, IT HURTS!

But, his mother will let him do it.

And, I will let him do it.

Here's what he does:

He puts his little three-year-old left thumb in his mouth, then takes his right arm, and slides it up under a short-sleeved shirt of the willing person (MOI!). Then right under the armpit with his thumb and finger, he pinches little pieces of skin together.

When he takes the thumb out of his mouth to talk, the pinching stops. But if he is sucking for an extended amount of time, he moves the hand around, always searching for new little pieces of skin to pinch. He sort of pinches the skin and rolls it around in his thumb and finger.

As we got in the car to leave, he ran out and said, "Grandma, you can't go!"
"Why not?" I asked.

"Because I need to pinch you some more!"

Today, both armpits are sore.

But, it's worth it. He won't always be three and want to sit on my lap and pinch me.

Favorite Picture Day

Seven year old's bedroom door...in case you aren't sure, he doesn't want you in there!

Heard in the Chula Vista Ward, Sunday, Oct 11

"I'm Sister...... from the Phillipines. Where my family lives and where I grew up, it never floods. So, imagine my surprise when I received a text message last Sunday telling me our village had flooded. I immediately tried to contact my family. It was difficult to make contact with my sister, but she said the flooding in many places was over two stories high. I finally found my father. Many people died. But, even though my family was safe, if they had died, I know that because of the church, we are a forever family and we will be together in Heaven."

"I'm Doctor.......I'm grateful for my highly educated hippie, pot-smoking father who joined the church. Because of his intellect, it was very humbling for him to accept this religion, but he did. I'm grateful because then in my twenties I also joined ."

"Hi, my name is.......My mother and I landed in Mexico City, but we were told all the planes were delayed twelve hours because of the rain storm. We both groaned thinking of twleve hours in an airport! But as we were walking, we saw some missionaries going home from their missions. The twelve hours went by very quickly as we talked about their experiences. I can't wait to serve a mission!"

Just another inspiring fast meeting in the LDS church.


Saturday Afternoon in Old Town San Diego

Fetish - n. a course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment;

(New Oxford American Dictionary)
"I'm a wedding planner, and event organizer," the waitress said as she put down RAH's pork tamales, and my chicken enchilada.
"This job as a waitress is just a side job to support my fetish."
"Oh, what eactly is your fetish?" we asked.
"I love shoes and purses."
"How many do you have?"
"I have 105 pairs of shoes, and 150 purses."
Yep, that's an excessive and irrational commitment...it's a fetish for sure!


Too Big for His/Her Britches

That line could be referring to the Mayor at the end of the movie, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

And, unfortunately, at this point in time, to MOI!

Here's the skinny (a little play on words there), several months ago, I decided to cut WAYYYYYYYY back on sugar and snacks.

I did. I also exercised regularly. My pants got a little loose; it felt good. I didn't look any different, but the pants were definitely hanging looser.

Then I did what I always do; get lax, feel like I can go back to the old habits. Which I did.

Ahhh, chocolate, I can't seem to give you up!

Hence, I'm too big for my britches once again!


How to Make a Long Drive Tolerable

It's pretty simple;

Turn on the IPod and

listen to Garrison Keillor's NeWS fRoM LakE wOBeGon.

then chortle with fellow passengers.


The Habit

I don't know when I started it.

It certainly wasn't when I was living at home because my mother was always after me to "Loni, make your bed!"

It wasn't in college because my roommates; Sharon, Nancy, and Lauralee, claimed the only time I made it was for white glove cleaning check.

It wasn't when we were first married because I had an early morning class; Allen was still in bed, so I couldn't make it (at least, that was my excuse.)

It wasn't when we first had small children because I would drag myself out of bed to feed a crying baby or small toddler. And, I was so busy, that I just never got back to the bedroom during the day to make the bed.

It wasn't when we had a water bed because that thing was impossible to make.

So, it must have been when we remodeled the bedroom, got new carpet, new bed, new bedding.

I've made our bed a lot of mornings since then.

It's just a habit that I have done over many years.

But, the other morning it was going to be one of THOSE DAYS....filled with so many things to get done. So, as I was headed to brush my teeth, early that morning, I said to myself, "I'm not going to make my bed today. No one even comes back here. It doesn't really matter."

I stood at the mirror brushing my teeth and could see the unmade bed through the mirror. And, it just felt odd to leave it unmade. So, I walked back in the bedroom, spent one or two minutes and made the bed.

It's just a habit and it didn't feel right not to do it.

I started faithfully reading my scriptures on a daily basis several years ago.

It's just a habit and it doesn't feel right not to do it.

Conference Sunday

What's not to love about Conference Sunday?

Incredible messages...inspiring music.

And, did you hear Jeffrey R. Holland's phenomenal talk? Truly amazing.

Here's the irony of conference weekend for me:

I'm reading a book about Bernie Madoff (on the Kindle, of course); he was a liar; a cheat; totally amoral. He stole from his family, best friends, Jewish charities, European heads of states, other charities, famous people - including the Holocaust survivor, Elie Weasel.

Bernie Madoff was - in a word - absolutely unbelievable. One of the men quoted in the book says that Madoff posed a greater threat than drug cartels and mobsters.

So, I had been reading this book about Madoff and then it was conference.

What an amazing contrast; from the absolute worst of men to the absolute best of men. From the lowest degradation to the most inspiring heights possible.

I eagerly anticipate the November Ensign where I can read the messages and be reminded that there are truly great, inspired, honest men leading us!

I'm glad to be a part of that kingdom, and I look forward to being inspired all over again.


Medals of Honor

The house is silent.

There were no giggles and, "ssshhh, she's still asleep," coming from the other end of the house.

There was no one in her Tinkerbell pajamas peeking around the corner of the dresser with pleading eyes and voice, "Grama, I'm hungry....can we please have breakfast now."

There was no sound of "He/she stole, hit, took, kicked, knocked, looked or touched me."

The only signs they had even been here for two weeks were a Lightning McQueen car hidden way under the bed, a lone pink sock, a crayon on the kitchen table, a perfect handprint on the window, magnets found deep in the carpet.

But they HAD been here; 8 children over a two-week period.

And, I realized again that Nathaniel, Jeanine, Justin, Amy, Jordan, Janna, Andrea, and all other parents out there...you may never win the Medal of Freedom, but you deserve it. Your face may never grace the cover of TIME magazine as person of the year, but you will have earned that honor. You may never win the Nobel Peace Prize officially, but in my heart, you have earned it many times over.

For you have given your lives to the highest, noblest, most time-consuming, never have a vacation, and most challenging of all positions;

You are a parent.


I absolutely hate it when the REAL ME is revealed to myself!



It was like a best friend.

It went everywhere with her; from Salt Lake to Long Island to Virginia.

It went with her through the rain, through some snow, through the hottest of days and the coldest of days. It was reliable. But she kept it locked up to make sure it was safe.

It was always there when she needed it;

until the night she went out to the hospital parking lot, and it was GONE!

"Scooters are the new trendy thing to steal," the policewoman said.

She is angry, I am angry! She is upset, I am upset! She realizes that is part of life, but I wish it weren't.

But, the most important thing of all; she is okay!


We Just Call Him Doc!

Teacher of Kindergarten: We'll need to take him out of the classroom for speech therapy.

Mrs. Mom: But, lots of kindergartners can't say their rrr's. I'm sure it will take care of itself......

Teacher of 4th grade: I'm having to give him an "F" in handwriting because it's so unreadable.

Mrs. Mom: Well, maybe it will be an asset to him in his chosen career.....

Teacher of 6th grade Math: We're putting him in the basic math class. We feel that will be best for him.

Mrs. Mom: But, did you test him? He's really very bright. By putting him in basic math, he won't be able to take all the math in high school, and I'm sure he wants to go to college.........

Teacher of Gym: He can't run, the kids make fun of him, what will he be able to do if he can't run?

Mrs. Mom: But, he's so gifted in so many other ways....

Well, now he can say his rrrr's, he did graduate from college, not many make fun of him anymore, and his handwriting is just what the DOCTOR ordered!

Happy Birthday, dear son, Jordan...we are very proud of your achievements!

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...