Hey, I'm JUST Like the Government...

....I'm spending into next month already!

It seems to work for them.

Maybe it will work for MOI!

You see, what with Thanksgiving and all....

Expenses got a little higher than normal.

My budget is shot.

But, hey, no worries.

I will do just what our government does on an hourly basis;

Spend what I don't have,

Borrow from tomorrow to pay today,

And go blissfully on my merry way.

No worries, no stress, just spend, spend, spend into the future.

This could get to be a HABIT!


Sunday Stories to Share...

except that I really heard this on a Monday.  (Since our church is so late, I don't get my Sunday visits in very often.  I come home from nursery exhausted, so I relax, and then it's too dark/late to go visiting!)

But, here's the story I heard on Monday.

Bette -in her 60's - comes from a family of 11 children.  Four have died.

When her oldest brother was 18 years old, he belonged to a gun club in high school....the students were not allowed to have the bullets and the teacher kept them....(this was many years ago, so things are definitely different now!)

At any rate, a couple of the boys had a gun with them at the lunch break.  As a joke, one pointed the rifle towards Van Allen (Bette's brother), and said jokingly, "I'm going to shoot you."

And, he shot.

Van Allen put his hand to the side of his neck, and said, "You got me!"  He fell forward on his face.

All the people gathered thought it was a joke and went over and told him to get up.  When he didn't get up, and they rolled him over, a pool of blood was streaming from his neck.

He died on the way to the hospital.

The day after the shooting, the sheriff came to the home of the young dead student.  The Sheriff said, "I'm going to arrest the boy who shot your son.  I'm putting him in jail for murder."

Bette's mother said, "Oh, no, you are NOT! That was an accident...he didn't mean to hurt my son.  You can't put him in jail for an accident."

The sherif replied, "But he committed murder!"

And, Bette's mother said, "He did not commit murder...what happened was an accident - pure and simple.  Let him be."

What an inspiring great story.  Today, we live in such a litigious society that the parents would have sued the boy, the school, the sheriff's department, the bus driver, the school nurse, the gun company, the dry cleaners, and the mayor.

But, Bette's mom - in the midst of her own terrible sorrow and grief - said, "It was an accident.  Let him be."

Bette concluded the story by telling me that her mother had a big heart; she genuinely cared about people.

And, I can see that is true!


Feeding the Missionaries

60 missionaries in this little town!

WHAT?!?!?!  yes, that's right - 60!

So, that means a family can have the missionaries over for dinner OFTEN...right!?!?!?!?


It's an especial treat to even GET THEM over, as they are being wined and dined every night by all the members of our Stake.  So, when the ward mission leader called and said there was an opening the next day, we said,

YES...bring them on!  We are ready!

So, here they came; Elder Larsen and Elder Lewis...what good, good young men!

They were polite, enthusiastic, eager, energetic about spreading the Gospel.  It was just plain marvelous to have them in our home.

Thanks, Elders, for the blessing you left on our home and for the opportunity to feed you both.

We are grateful for your service, and you made me think of what our grandsons must be doing right now.

Oh, missionaries; there is nothing quite like them!


Picture From the Past - WAY Past

While working on a calendar project for our family, I happened across this picture...made me smile...

Ah YOUTH, where have you gone?

This was taken about three months after we were married; it's the Christmas Dance at Idaho State University....December 1964.

My mother made the beautiful dress - (I wonder what ever happened to it?)

Allen didn't really want to go, but I thought we should; I didn't want to be old marrieds after only four months for heaven's sake!

Those were the days...


(Side note:  Allen still uses those glasses on occasion - I just bought a pair that look exactly like his, and my hair is exactly the same - except lots thinner - as it was all those years ago..now all these facts are quite scary: same hair - same glasses...but, unfortunately much different weight!)


Family Home Evening....

is alive and well in our neighborhood...

On the past two Mondays, we were invited to share FHE with:

the STOUT family,
and the URE family.

It was so awesome.

Lesson, (both on music!)
Treat time (such good good treats; I need recipes!).

Oh, good times.

Such marvelous wonderful families teaching their children in an environment of love, laughter, and most of all; wrestling.

Thank you dear friends....they are memories I will long cherish!


Sundays - in the Nursery

20 adorable children....

Most come most of the time.

Some just quietly play;

Some run around like crazy- throwing toys and other items;

Some cry - a lot;

One or two will sit on my lap and let me read to them;

They ALL love snack time.

Oh, Sundays are great in the nursery!

Before the darlings arrive; the nursery is CLEAN and organized.

Doesn't take them long; 2 minutes into it and every toy is scattered all over the room!
But that is okay since it's  PLAY TIME!

Who knew that coffee liners would be so useful?  The little kids just love snack time,
especially if there are fruit snacks involved.

It's really about the only time that it is SOMEWHAT quiet in nursery.
That's Dave Water's hand there; he's great, as is his wife!


Reading Out Loud

Stunned and Shocked...

That is what I felt when 12 year old LK told me that NO ONE had ever read to her before, until I did one afternoon.

How is that possible?

Surely her parents must have read to her at bedtime as a child.

I cannot begin to fathom a twelve-year who has NEVER HAD SOMEONE READ ALOUD TO THEM!

It's beyond comprehension...truly.

Why, I even read to my 7th grade students in middle school!

The sweetest words in all the school day (besides school is over!) were these.....

"Mrs. H, come on, read just ONE more chapter," 


"You can't quit RIGHT THERE!" 


"Just read until we see what happens next."

Even those pseudo/sophisticated 13 year olds loved to be read to each day if the book was engaging.

Indeed, I feel sad for LK if what she says is true.

Reading aloud to a child is truly one of the greatest blessings and privileges of being a parent or grandparent or aunt or uncle or cousin.

To see their wonder, hear their laughter, watch their wide-eyed faces.

There is absolutely nothing like it in the world.

Oh, LK, you must just be sure that you read aloud every day to your child to make up for what you missed out on.

And, if you need any good book suggestions, I have a very long list of perfect books waiting for a child to listen to.


Cleaning Out

Man, why is it so hard to get rid of STUFF?!?!?!?!??!?!?

RAH asked if we could throw away a picture that was in the garage for 7 years....I had not hung it up - EVER - didn't realize I had it, but when he said, "Shall we toss it?"

I couldn't bring myself to do it!

What in the heck?!??!?

Okay, here's my reluctance; my mother painted it.  Actually, I have several of her pictures.  They are fantastic.  But, this was one of her earliest and definitely NOT one of her better ones.

However, I just couldn't get rid of it.

And, that about describes my clothes closet, my Christmas decorations, my Easter decor, etc., etc., etc.


And, the longer it is in the home/garage, the harder it is.

I should hire someone who is not emotionally attached to MY stuff!

In the meantime, I'll keep trying to discard a few things here and there...

little by little.

And, if you need me, I can EASILY come and get rid of YOUR stuff!



...against the pricks.

It's a term from the Bible meaning to resist authority.

I find myself KATP a lot lately, and I wish I could understand why...


I have much to be grateful for, and I am.

So, note to self.....

Just quit KATPs!


Ulterior Motives

How do you know when people are being nice to you....

IF they have an ulterior motive?

Very intriguing.



Monday morning.

Joan came to the school library where I worked:  she was looking a little downcast.

She was in her last year of helping in the library and was set to retire with her husband at the end of the school year.

"It's hard being old in a young ward," she said sadly with deep felt emotion.  "No one needs you."

At the moment, I was in the Relief Society presidency and we were needed: EVERY Tuesday, and many days besides that for funerals, cleaning, helping, lifting, visiting, nurturing, comforting, etc.  We WERE VERY busy.

So, it was hard for me to really understand or grasp what she was saying.

But, now, many years later, in an extremely young ward where I am retired and old, I totally understand what she was saying...

Because the old are


Oh, we try to say hello to the youth; they say a cursory hello, then scurry on to chat with their young friends.

We try to talk to the young couples about their lives, their families, their jobs, etc.

They stare blankly/politely and hurry over to their young mother "friends."

I think about when I was a young mother; was I like that to the older women in our ward?

Oh, I hope NOT!

Because NO ONE

deserves to be or feel



Dealing With a Terrible, Incurable Disease...

Foot In Mouth.

This is cute; mine definitely is NOT!

I have it bad.

I can't seem to find a cure.

I'm so good at being bad without meaning to.

Man, I hate having FOOT IN MOUTH disease!


Getting Something for Nothing...

...not possible, you say...

Well, I do beg to disagree.

I want to thank Chase Bank because we did, indeed, get something for nothing.

In the past six months, we have received -


$879.50 from Chase Bank.

Here's how it played out:

I opened a Chase checking account with $1500.00  and received $200 for doing so.

I opened a Chase savings account with $15000.00 and received $175.00 for doing so.

RAH opened a Chase savings account with $1500.00 and received $125.00 for doing so.

(As soon as the six month waiting period is over, I will take the money out and put the money in an account where it will earn a little money, but it would never earn in six months as much as the cash I was paid.)

Then, from our Chase credit card, we received $379.50 cash back for our purchases made this year.

The grand totally is $879.50..


Just incredible.

And, I am very grateful.


And It All Came Tumbling Back....

Rebecca dropped by yesterday.

We had met her on our mission.

She had needed a job badly.  RAH worked and worked with her.

And, she finally got a JOB!

She was indescribably excited.  50ish and single with very short spiky hair; her fun personality matched her hairstyle...funky, confident.  And, she was a skilled administrative assistant with years of experience.

She came over one Saturday shortly after getting her job.  Oh, she was ecstatic...she loved the environment, the bosses, the job.  She brought us a loaf of 9 grain bread to show her appreciation.  She was just DELIGHTED and happy about how things were working out for her.  She stayed and talked and was just so thrilled about it all.

And, now, three months later, she called to say she just wanted to stop by and see how our trip had been.

It was fun to see her, her funky hair, her delightful personality.

BUT, she had LOST her job.

As she explained the details, everything about our mission came swirling back to me....

the stories,
the sorrows,
the heartaches,
the disappointments,
the expectations gone awry.

The knots in my stomach grew as she sat and described the injustice, the lies, the unfair treatment....etc., etc., etc.

I sat listening - it was deja vu - hearing the stories that we had heard so often for one year.

My heart was so sad for Rebecca; she deserved better.

But, she was optimistic, she had had a confirmation that all would work out.  Her optimism buoyed me up for her.

She left, and I stood stunned.

And amazed; had I REALLY listened to THESE sorrowful tales for one year?

Again, I was humbled; so grateful for the opportunity to have served, to have met marvelous, good people like Rebecca.

But, in my heart of hearts, I also felt a sense of relief.  I just take them all too personally.  I can't just walk away...the stories linger in my head and heart for days.  I realized that I was grateful to now be working on other projects, other things to consume my life.

(As an interesting side note: Brother Larkin called today; he wanted to tell me that MC had FINALLY got a job in St George.  He had contacted the LDS Employment Center in June, and now, he had a job.)

Happy for him, sad for Rebecca.

And, grateful, once again. for RAHs job of 32 years!

Doing What You Say You Will Do....

"I'll call you and let you know..."

"We'll be by about 2 to repair your....."

"That should be ready for you on Wed...."

"I'll be at the meeting for sure...."

"I'll pay you back..."

"The check is in the mail...."

"Yes, we will for sure let you know what we decided....."

On and on and on.

Blah, blah, blah.

I so admire people who DO EXACTLY AS THEY SAY THEY WILL!


Two Words I LOATHE

I hate the words:




Both are evil.

Both are destructive.

No one can ever win with either of these evil forces at play.

I wish we could find a cure for both.

When we do, the world will be a much better, safer place.

Judge Not

I can think of no admonition in the Bible that is more likely to be broken than the simple words:


Even Christians who try hard to keep other commandments find themselves (MOI in particular) guilty of this simple injunction.

It is just so very difficult to NOT JUDGE.

I am guilty of it.

I don't want to be, but i find myself being judge and jury so very often.

"Why would she, as a mother, even think of doing....."

"I don't understand why she would run off when she practically Begged him to marry her..."

"If they don't have the money, they have no business buying...."

"I can't believe she wore that to give her lesson....."

That message is given in church so often...


But, rarely is an alternative to judging presented.  So, we don't know how


I have done this on several occasions;; it works (but only when I remember to do it!)

When I find myself starting to think...


I immediately say something positive and counteract the judgment statement...

"That's a lovely shade of pink she chose to wear today."


"It's difficult to be a mother...I'm sure she is trying to do what she thinks is best."

Okay, so I do try to


But, I don't always succeed.

It's one of those things, I will just have to keep working on....

Another one of the MANY things I need to work on.

If Only....

A has three children, but they are pretty much a bother to her.  She's always glad when her ex-husband will take them.

R had a child as a teenager and felt it best - under the circumstances - to give it up for adoption. Single, now, she would give anything to have a child.

A has three teenagers; they are rebellious, wild, and have chosen to live with their even wilder father. She - heartbroken, angry, bitter - has run away from everything and moved to a foreign country.

Each woman has regrets; each woman has sorrow; each woman has remorse.

If only life could turn out as we hoped and wished as a young person.


A Letter to My Mother

Dearest Mother,

I miss you more than words can say.

But, I have pictures of you around.  And, I have several pictures you painted that are a reminder of your many talents.

I also have some of your lovely things to remind me of your class, your good taste, your sense of beauty.

I remember so well how important to you the items were that you purchased in Europe.  You used to tell me at what sacrifice you bought them and how valuable they are/were.

So, I'm glad you are not here now to see that the items you felt were so very valuable can be purchased so easily and so cheaply on EBay....an auction site on the Internet.

You, dear mother, would be heartbroken to realize that these items are sold casually, with no sense of the value or back story behind each piece.

They are not purchased with cigarettes after a terrible war.  They are not purchased from sellers desperate for cash in a war-torn country.

In fact, it's highly likely they are not purchased at all.  RAH and I once went to an antique shop to have him check the value of your treasures....there was not much of any value at all.  People weren't buying these European items much any more, he told us.

It made me so very sad.

Because they were treasures for YOU...they were always so cared for in your lovely home.  They were dusted with care, put up on high shelves to keep away from grandchildren.  They brought you joy and fond memories of a unique time in your young married life.

So, today, out of curiosity, as I looked up the value of a lovely hand-painted "Schumann Bavaria" ash tray, I was glad you didn't know how little value it truly has.  A very similar item was selling for $5.99 to $7.99!

I'm glad you felt its value was great and that it brought you great joy.

Because that is all that really matters.


Family Gatherings..

....don't happen often enough any more.

My mother's table settings make a table so striking.  Thanks, Mom, for the hand-painted plates edged in gold and the stunning cut-glass goblets - both from your time in Europe.  I try to use them so that at the end of my life,
 I don't find myself saying,
 "I should have used the china more often!"

So, when they do, I enjoy every minute.

Thanks, RAH, for the meat loaf, the steak, the trout - which you caught earlier in the season - the beets and carrots from your garden.  Thanks, Loni, for the fake blueberry muffins and the not-done scalloped potatoes.

It was so great to share it with two grandchildren and a grandson-in-law.

There is nothing like family.

Sean said he hadn't eaten home-cooked good food for quite awhile; it was good to give hims some healthy food straight from Allen's garden.  And, of course, some not healthy blueberry muffins with the artificial blueberries...hA!


Halloween 2013

Ah, naughty, naughty...is this really what they want to teach their children!

The wonderful Gees came over and sang to us; aren't they just adorable?  

Just a few of the many neighborhood kids who came over...notice the golf cart out in the street waiting?  Love it.

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...