Christmas - Made in America

"Let's try to get things made in America," RAH said as we began contemplating Christmas this year.

"Terrific idea!"

Not so fast; it is a good idea to be sure.

But, if that remains our criteria, it appears as though we won't be giving much to anyone this year....

TOYS - made in China

ELECTRONICS - made in China

CLOTHES - made in China
It's time to restore AMERICAN-MADE GOODS to our shelves!


The Funeral

I was saddened to hear he had died.  And, of course, we would attend his funeral.
How could I have known that funeral would impress me more than any other funeral I have ever attended?

How could I describe his funeral?

Each of his four living children spoke; each one better than the last.  Each capturing the essence of this amazing  and good father/husband/employee/grandfather/Stake President.

We learned some fun fun stories of him and his love for cars.  And, how he would sell or give them away to someone needing it more than he.

We learned of his great love for his children.

We learned of his tremendous example.

We learned of his love for his wife

We learned of his love for the Saviour and the Gospel.

And, in all of that, we all learned to love him even more than we did before.

What a man....what a family...what a legacy!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of knowing Kenneth Howell.


The Challenge

There we all were; together again, so glad to see each other again.....

Only WAIT...no one was really SEEING each other.  All of us in the room had our heads down:
checking email
playing a game
watching a video clip on YouTube
watching television

Oh, we were physically together in the same room, just not really together at all. 

That's when the idea hit:

A NO TECHNO day during the Thanksgiving Day family get together!

CRAZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE idea, but we are going to give it a try.

So, in one week - on Saturday, we say NO to:

DS personal games

What will we do?  Can we make it through an ENTIRE day without our gadgets?  Will we be speaking to one another by the end of the day?  Will we realize that we HAVE to have techno so that we like each other for that long?  Will our bodies go into some sort of panicky withdrawal?  Will anyone need emergency medical attention?  Will there be any medical attention available on a holiday weekend (tee hee!) 


Oh, there have been rumblings from the crowd of 26 people ages 5-70.

Oh, there have been murmurings and secret plots about hiding the gizmos and gadgets somewhere. 
 (BTW, this will be as hard on me as on anyone!) 

There are already signs of dissension among the troops, but we will proceed as planned.

Who Knows?
Maybe it will actually be FUN!
Stay tuned.


Let's Hear It For the KINDLE!

It's a phenomenal book; it's just that it is over 500 pages long.

That makes it bulky, awkward, and not very transportable. 

And sad to say, it also NOT available on my favorite reading device....the KINDLE
(and all its sister apps available on the ITouch, IPad, and Android Phones).

I love the KINDLE.

Some people tell me they don't like using it because they like the feel of turning pages...
well, there is certainly something to that.

But, it is so convenient to slip the KINDLE into a purse or bag.  It's so easy to keep track of where you are...no bookmarks falling out all over the place. 

What is great, is there is something for everyone in this world.....
But, as for MOI, I'll take the KINDLE.

Now, how do I get them to put WHITE SWANS on their list?

(NOTE:  this is not a paid political ad....the author is receiving no money for this endorsement, but if Amazon wants to give me some money, I'll humbly accept.)

Why Exercise Seems F.U.T.I.L.E.

41 minutes on the Wii...

118 calories burned.....

Surely you are kidding me!



Familia Fun

These pictures prove that a real camera is better than an ITouch or a phone!

Can you guess which one was taken with a real camera?!?!?!?!?


Music to My Ears

Where words fail, music speaksAuthor: Hans Christian Anderson

Sometimes it is impossible for me to express how joyfully music affects my soul; my being.

I love MUSIC:

Allen playing the piano or the guitar.

My kids in a guitar/singing fest.

My ITunes library.

The hymns at church.

Children singing.

I cannot imagine being deaf and not being able to hear the M.U.S.I.C.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the incredible gift of music.

Right now, my spirit is soaring.


Monday - Clean the Master Bedroom Day

Goal: go through the drawers to see if there is anything to give to DI...in other words, just try to downsize a little.

Result:  I came across a few of the gifts our Chinese students had given us the last day....some were so tiny and seemed so insignificant, but were so thoughtful and generous....like the girl who handed me the little tiny homemade paper-crafted flowers. 

Just seeing them this morning made me so grateful for those dear students.  Shawn ( a tall, outstanding student) gave me the little bag and it's so representative of the Chinese...I love it. Someone so lovingly handed me the little panda...it's not much, but it was so from the heart.  There were other gifts in the cupboard; these are just a few, but they so represent the kindness of those dear, dear students.

Rolled up in the cupboard - because we haven't got it framed yet - was a cross-stitch done by Susan, the girl at the front desk of the foreign teacher's building where we lived.  Often I would see her working on this project.  Then one day, she presented it to me.  I was overwhelmed because I knew how long she had been at work on it.  I will always treasure this beautiful gift from wonderful Susan.
I didn't down-size after all, but I found a treasure trove of memories.


And in This Hand.....

"I've told my children many times," she told me....

"I'm okay with going into a rest home....just make sure that at my table, there is a salt shaker on one side and a box of See's Chocolates on the other side."

Ahhh, I like her style.


Learning From the Children...

even if those children are in their 30's.

So, it is always inspiring to me to be influenced by our children.

In this case, I am referring to the way they eat;

if I were around Jordan's home and Kristi's home on a regular basis, I would likely be able to lose weight.

 For you see, their cupboards are not filled with:


So, I'm moving in with them to lose weight.

Oh, wait, I could just stop buying those things.

But, will I?!?!?

It's the LITTLE Things....

that make a difference.

And, these are little.

We hardly ever pay any attention to them, but we use them on a daily basis and rely heavily on them.

We don't often think of them...UNTIL we injure one.

And they would be.....(drum roll here!)


And, mine are reminding me just how important these little things are!

I stubbed my two little end toes on the right foot three weeks ago, and they are still killing me EVERY step!  OUCH!  I just keep thinking they will have to get better soon.

So, here's the deal, along with my plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and stubbed toes, my right foot is in A LOT of pain.

Okay, I won't just take them so much for granted any more. 


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

First things first...

RAH checked on the yard..

LGH - (that would be MOI) checked out the pantry to see if there was anything to eat.

And, that is precisely why his yard looks like it does - lovely and awesome.

And, that is precisely why I look like I look - just a tad, (okay, more than a tad) heavier than I should.

But, it's so good to be back home in our lovely corner of the world.

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...