3.31.2013

As Easter Concludes....

I want to bear my testimony...

I am so grateful for the Saviour, his Atonement and the Resurrection.

There are not many days when I don't think about my parents.

I miss them constantly.

But, I KNOW that I will see them both again...what a glorious reunion that will be.

I will ask my dad to sing for me.  I will ask my mom to tell me the stories of her travels in Europe.  I will rejoice in being with them; such good, dear parents.

And, I feel so grateful for a Saviour who did this for me.


I am so grateful for Easter and all that it means.

Thank you, Heavenly Father.

3.29.2013

The Clothesline


I was on the walking path behind the new home.

The big home.

The doctor's home.

Over the top of the high fence, I could see just the very tops of colorful items hanging.

"Oh my heck," I thought.  "That is just so awesome.  No one hangs their clothes out anymore."

Then, my mind conjured up the years I hung clothes out in most kinds of weather.  I remembered the crispness, the incredible feel of the sheets as we would climb into bed after they hung on the line in cold weather.  Ah, those by-gone days.

By this time, I was very close to their home and could see through the gate into their back yard.  I started laughing.

Those were NOT clothes lines, those were some kind of lines where colorful towels and swimming suits were hanging to dry after an afternoon swim in their huge pool.

I was right after all.....

No one hangs out clothes any more...just swim suits.

And, I'm still smiling!

3.28.2013

The Budget Dilemma/Question


Okay, here's the deal...we have a budget.

It works well for us.  It's very helpful to track spending.  I enjoy the challenge of monitoring expenses and staying within the budge.

So, here's the question:

If we do not spend all the allotted money in one category, is it okay to use the money from column A to  spend in Column B?  But, then, that doesn't really honestly reflect what we spent in each category...

Let's say column A is gas, and our allowance is $100, but in a certain month, we don't drive a lot and only spend $45.

Column B might be gifts and I need more gift money one month.  So I take the extra $55 from gas and use for gifts.

But, the monthly total says we spent $100 for gas, when in reality we didn't.  But we DID stay within the total budget figures.  

It's confusing.

I need a personal accountant.

3.26.2013

Trivia Tuesday

1.  Who started smoking at age 13 and quit in her 50's when she joined the church?
Sister F

2.  Who has a different purse and shoes to match every outfit?
Sister M

3.  Who has put 48,000 pictures on find-a-grave.com?
Max Turpin and yes, that's right - 48,000!

4.  Whose granddaughter has tourette's syndrome and she recently lost 100 pounds?
Elder L

5.  What zone leader discovered one of the sister missionaries in his zone had actually eloped before her mission?
Elder L

6. What sister missionary has had some of the most amazing experiences in family history?
Sister T

7.  What missionary had a lady tell her that the job lead the employment missionary had called to tell her about led to getting a job she loved?
MOI - and boy, did that feel good!?!?!?!??!

8.  What lady found an Easter dress at the DI for $3.80?  And, it's cute, too.
Sister A

9.  What missionary had a health scare last week?  And, this same missionary had her purse stolen RIGHT OUT of her shopping cart, when she glanced away for about three seconds....
Sister M

10.  Which missionaries only have one month left to serve?
Sister Taylor, and the Andersons; oh, they will be so missed.  Sister Taylor is 85, loves to golf and travel.  She can't wait to get to Star Valley on the golf course.  She is going on a big trip through Canada in June.  The Andersons are excited to conclude their mission; she is going to start a business in foot zoning...I have been the recipient of one of her sessions; awesome!

And, that is Tuesday trivia!

I love the people we serve with; it's such a blessing...oh, the stories they all have to tell!

3.25.2013

Random Thoughts on Mission Monday

It just always amazes me what some people wear for a job interview; come on, people, it's not like you are going to the park to throw water balloons.  A little dressing up is required!  (Just a note, Doug's son went for an interview in shirt and tie; they hired him on the spot because he just looked sharp!)

I am still blown away by the people who tell me they are on probation or "Have a past!"...translation - felony on their record.  They can not escape it.  It is ALWAYS there to haunt them.  HOW do we get kids/people to NOT DO STUPID THINGS?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!

The nicest man on the planet has some of the biggest heartaches on the planet; he is good, pure and loves the Gospel.  He has adopted five children and had one of his own.  His birth child is strong in the Gospel and just a good person; his other five have caused him heartache beyond belief:

1 is in jail for armed robbery...when he gets out of jail, he is homeless and only contacts Doug when he needs something.  He has threatened their lives.

2. ran away from home with a man and lived in an abusive relationship for many years.  Is trying to get her life back together.

3.  is an air traffic controller in Maryland; has a stable life, but calls when she needs money.

4.  has emotional/social issues...probably will always need to live with the parents.

5.  has HIV, as well as his partner.  Will probably need Doug and wife to care for him as he becomes more and more ill.

Guy on the phone said he is planning to invest and reopen an old, run-down hotel and restaurant.  I wanted to say, ARE YOU CRAZY!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!?  But, I refrained myself.  What are people thinking?!?!?!?  There are a bazillion restaurants in this town...some go out of business every week.  This one is a dead horse.....what a waste of energy and money.  (I'll check back on this post in a year to see if I am not spot on.)

I always love coming home to our lovely home....clean (sort of), inviting, cheery, pleasant.  And, it makes me grateful for Mission Mondays.






3.23.2013

Problems? I'll Take My Own, Thank You Very Much!

When I heard Lee's story, I was stunned at how incredibly vindictive and vengeful people can be....

Then, Keri told me about her decision; should she or shouldn't she...it is difficult for her to decide and so much is resting on it.

Roberta's story was literally like a soap opera; so complicated and terrifying and intriguing and challenging.

Joan's story was heartbreaking and tragic.

Sylvia's situation always makes me feel so sad for her.

Donna's tale of financial misfortune should be made into a movie; how could one man be so evil with old people's money?

Bob's health problems are dizzying, as well as his wife's cancer.

So, it's always a good reminder to just pack up my own bag and be grateful for my own struggles and challenges; they are minor compared to so many other's.








Janet and the Phone Call

I love to visit with Janet...she is so inspiring to me.

A few months ago, she had surgery on a large growth on her neck.  She had a ginormous scar with many stitches.  So, I've taken a couple of meals, visited her a few times, and called her yesterday.

She is still weak, but recovering.

BUT, she is still pure gold and thinking of others.  She invited her husband's children to a birthday celebration.  Her husband has dementia and it is getting much worse, but she wanted them to be a part of his birthday celebration, so she went shopping at Costco to buy food for the party.  It was a challenge for her to push the large cart by herself, but she did it, in preparation for the surprise birthday party for her husband.  She was excited.

"Janet," I said, "You are so thoughtful and good."

Then she said something that just thrilled me to the tip of my toes;

it's a powerful mantra:

"IT'S FUN TO BE MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY!"

What a true statement.  Making others happy certainly doesn't lessen our own happiness; it multiplies it.

Oh, Janet, you inspire me.  And, I always love talking with you!

Thank you for being my friend.

The Budget

"I've decided," Lilly told me recently.  "I'm going to be like the government."

"You mean; deceitful, dishonest, immoral, evil?" I countered.

"No, I mean I'm going to spend way over my budget.

"For 15 years, we have maintained a strict budget...we have saved and tried not to over spend.  If we wanted a big ticket item, we saved for it.

I'm tired of it." she said.

"So, I'm going to spend freely - just like our lousy government."

And, then the conversation abruptly ended, presumably for Lilly to go spend some money!

3.21.2013

My New Favorite Book

I love books;

all kinds of books.

Sometimes people say to me: what is your favorite book?

How can I ever answer that question?  I mean, let's narrow it down to:

favorite fiction,
favorite non-fiction,
favorite biography...
even, then, I cannot really say which is my all time favorite.

However, for many years, I might have said, The Hiding Place,

but I now have a new favorite - by far, it has become at the top of my list:

JESUS THE CHRIST by James E Talmage..

I cannot even begin to describe how this book has affected me.  I only read it when I exercise, so I don't  read it that often.  But, sometimes, it literally leaves me breathless with inspiration and hope and determination to be a better, more Christlike person.  It is something I will continually strive for.

Talmage's insight is amazing and inspirational.

Thanks, Jeremy, for encouraging me all these years to read this marvelous book.

I will be forever grateful.


The Neighbor; a Sad Tale

She is my neighbor.  She is the mother of three wonderful, loving, good children.  And, she is perfect in every way; she is a person with no guile, no malice, no unkindness exists in her young beautiful body.  She is a happy, good person; thoughtful, caring, tender-hearted.  I liked her goodness the moment I met her.

And, she was divorced.  Her husband became addicted to drugs and a few other unseemly things also.  He has no interest in being a father to three of the most beautiful children ever, and has been very willing to give up all parental rights.

His parents were devastated and realized what a jerk their son had been.

She worked hard to be a good, caring, nurturing mother and teach her young children Gospel principles.  Her ex-in-laws maintained contact with their three young grandchildren.  They treated her with respect and kindness.

And, then, she remarried; a good man, a strong Priesthood holder; a man who loved her three children unconditionally.

But, now, the grandparents are being jerks.  They have threatened her with all kinds of legal issues.  They have said unkind things about the woman they had once been so good to.  They are using their money, power, influence, prestige to sway a judge in their behalf.  It's ugly.  And, it's so unlike anything she has ever been a part of.

What brings out the worst in us?

is it 
money,
power,
greed,
family ties,
control,
loss of family?

Whatever it is, it is sad to see people - who normally behave in a decent manner - turn against those they once loved.

And, the sad part of it all is, no one wins....all lose, and the dear wonderful children are caught in the middle.









3.20.2013

Wanting VS Needing

She was attractive and very classy.

She was about 65 or so.

And, she WANTED a job; not needed, but wanted.

She is bored.  Her husband is still working, so she wants something to do while he is away.  I don't blame her; we all need to feel productive.

BUT, her situation is so different from most of the people we see at the LDS Employment Center.  Most of the people who walk through those doors NEED a job - desperately!

I wish her well.

But, my concern is really for the 95% who are desperate; like the guy who is losing his home this week because of a divorce and job loss.  Or the man who has six kids and has already lost his home and is living in a three bedroom home with his mother, his sister, and his family of 8.  Now, that is someone I see as a higher priority.

I wish, as always, there were jobs for anyone who wants one.

A JOB is a great blessing.

3.18.2013

The Felons

Nothing in our mission has surprised me as much as the people we learn have a felony on their records.

Of course, some of the people coming in LOOK like I might expect a felon to look, but many of the people look like ordinary folk.

And, that is what is so incredible and unsettling.

In a moment, a person's life is shattered.

It is so very difficult for convicted felons to get jobs, apartments, loans....

It is something I wish I could warn m grandchildren about....

DO NOT DO SOMETHING STUPID!

Because it will haunt you for the rest of your life!

God may forgive you, but society won't!


3.16.2013

The Prayer

"It's ironic," she told me recently.

"I prayed and prayed for something.

"It came to pass.

"But, the thing I prayed so badly for, has made the situation far far worse.

"Lesson learned," she concluded....

"Watch what you pray for!  It may come back to bite you!"

3.15.2013

Spring in St George




Too bad the blooms don't last long!

From My Inbox

I spent several hours trying to help Deako and write just the perfect letter for her to get into a university in England.

This letter just came in my inbox; so disappointing for Deako:  Ah, life is complicated - all around the world!


My dear Loni,
 
I am very sorry to reply you so lately. Many unhappy things happened in these days, so I am a kind of stressful and depressive.
 
First of all, I plan to go to study abroad and get my master degree. In the beginning, everything was going well, I received many offers and I chose Lancaster University, then I paid the deposit for Lancaster. Because of this, I do not have to do the job-hunting and only focus on the oversea study.
 
However, before the Chinese new year, my family told me that they wanted to start another new business after the new year, and the money is limited, so they do not have extra money to afford the expensive tuition fee for me. I remembered very clearly the words my mother said to me that "I am so sorry, and you have to give up your dream." After hearing this, I cried in my dorm. On one hand, I spent so much time on the application and study abroad to get the master degree is my dream, I have no reasons to persuade myself to give up. On the other hand, I do not want to increase the burden on my parents, so I have to give up. It is very contradictory. Every night I could not fall asleep because of this.
 
I know that I do not have the initiative, so I have to accept the fact. Unfortunately, I missed the job-hunting peak, I have to finish my graduation paer and there are a lot of exams waiting for me. So stressful. Everything in my life is in mess.
 
Sometimes, I think that life is very rediculous. It gave you everything you want, and then it relentlessly retook it.
 
Hope everything will be fine in the end. Thanks for helping me so much in the application.
 
Deako




3.14.2013

Entitled!

When did an entire generation begin to feel

E.N.T.I.T.L.E.D?

It certainly was not my father's generation...they worked and scraped and saved and worked some more.  They believed in earning their money.  They saved everything; money, empty cartons, bottles, clothes, cars, keys, pencils stubs, papers.

Was it my generation?  Are we the ones that started thinking we were OWED something?  I don't think so....we were still working hard, putting in hours, not as many, however.  And, we were reaping the rewards of more leisure time.  We had discretionary income, times were good, so .....

Did we decide that we didn't want to be so financially conservative and save so much that we started giving in to our children's every demand for "STUFF?"  We had a car, a home, a little money in the bank, so why not let our children enjoy the fruits of our hard work...we certainly didn't want to be like our parents and save, save, save.  The good times seemed endless.

The government certainly played a hand in all this also.  They began "handing out" for those who didn't have.  And, so, why would anyone work for it, if it's free?!?!?!?!?

And, sadly that attitude began to creep into a general populace.

Work is no longer seen as the great blessing it is.  The absolute thrill of working hard, receiving a paycheck has been lost somewhere along the way.

Playing games all day and watching endless hours of reality television have made us fat, lazy, indifferent, angry, insensitive to others, careless of our possessions, egotistic, and most of all, we see

ENTITLEMENT

as our RIGHT.

But, that thinking is so

WRONG.

And, I don't know how it will play out.  It's rather scary for me to see that happening in such a short time from my father's lifetime of goodness, saving, serving, giving, nurturing, caring, working.

I do not want to EVER, EVER, EVER feel

ENTITLED!





The Unexpected Guests at the Table

We went to the temple with Monte and Eunice Merrill...they are Allen's aunt and uncle.

Afterwards, we were going to go out for dinner.

Monte had a lot of names for sealings, so another couple came in the room with us....a young couple - a VERY young couple.  In fact, they were on their honeymoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (I loved that they would do temple work on their honeymoon - isn't that great!)

After we were done with the sealings, Monte invited them to dinner with us at the Texas Roadhouse.  Ah, just what a lovely young newlywed couple wants to do, hang out with old people.

But, it was very enjoyable getting to know Brad and Anna from Logan.  It was delightful, pleasant, fun and such a thoughtful thing for Monte to do.

Then, this morning I read an article on happiness - which everyone seems to be searching for these days - and the author said:

Happiness can come from stepping out of your comfort zone."

And, that is just what happened last night; inviting two total strangers to dinner, having a lovely evening with friends AND strangers.

Life is filled with unexpected and joyful moments.


3.12.2013

Busy Days

Some days on the mission are so incredibly busy.

Posting jobs,

Calling job candidates,

Helping people register at ldsjobs.org,

Helping people look for jobs,

Listening to people's stories,

Some days the time just flies by.....

WHIZZ..........

Those are good days.

3.11.2013

Change Is In the Air...

and I'm not so sure I like it.

I like things to stay the same.

Life, it's always changing and I must learn to adapt.

It will all be okay.

3.09.2013

Spring Cleaning - Part 2

Oh, yes, I've been working hard.

I got distracted from the list, and hope to return to it.

But, today, inspired by my visit to Sharon's home yesterday, I cleaned all the drawers in my bureau and my bathroom...I did attempt to clean any of Allen's closets, shelves, drawers, etc.

It's just so hard for me to discard items....rats-a-frats!

I cleaned out the pantry, which I have attempted to do before.  It will always be a work in progress.

But, I like making even little baby steps.

I also put some things into the bag for DI and threw aways some items....

ongoing, that's what cleaning is.

3.08.2013

Two Differing Styles

They couldn't be more different in their decorating styles.

Both are immaculate housekeepers.  Both keep their home tidy, tidy, tidy.  Nothing is out of place; closets and drawers are organized.

But, after that similarity, they are on opposite planets....

Which do you think you prefer?

DC's home is very beautiful and she could be a professional decorator.  There are pictures; knick knacks; throw rugs; furniture; accent lamps and pillows in every corner of her home.  She keeps her table set, her kitchen has lots of decor on the countertops, cabinets, etc.  Her bedrooms are filled with pictures, figurines, massive curtains, and large pieces of furniture; and the master bedroom has one accent wall painted a deep red and there are loads of pillows on the beds.  The bathrooms have more knickknacks and tasteful items on the counters. If I were to use a word to describe the decorating style, I would say BIG, she has large pictures, large statues, a baby grand piano as you walk in the door, a ginormous mirror on one wall; things are just BIG in her home.  Even the basement is elaborately decorated! It is really a home show type of home.  And, it is all very tastefully done.

SC's home is the total total opposite.  It is very stark compared to DC's.  Her dining room has a dining table with chairs, 2 rocking chairs, and a hutch.  It's bright and cheery, but it is limited to functionality, even though there would be room for more items.  Her husband's office has a desk and a chair and a very small plain shelf with a few items.  The kitchen has NOTHING on the counters.  Her pantry was the most organized pantry I have ever seen (outside of a magazine, and those aren't real life!)  I can't even really describe her pantry...it was simply amazing and organized, as is every drawer in her home.  The bedrooms have a bed and a nightstand.  In fact, two of the closets in her home are totally EMPTY! Nothing, but hangers is in them!?  Her clothes closet was incredible.  She doesn't have a lot of clothes; very few compared to most women (which is really great, actually!), but it was totally, as you might imagine, organized.  The only books I saw in the entire home were the scriptures on the nightstands.  The walls in the hallways and in the bedrooms have nothing on them.  There are high decorator shelves, which have a few items on those.  She showed me her sewing closet; I was blown away.  It was so neat and tidy.  (She makes many, many quilts - also neatly organized in closets in the garage.)  She discards easily and rarely keeps receipts, etc.  Her front room was also like the rest of the home; very little extra besides the basic furniture, but she did have lots of family pictures framed and on display on their tv hutch.  It's all the same light color throughout, as is the carpet.  She once told me you could eat off her floors, and after seeing it, I believe it.  It has the feel of simple; very very simple.

So, which style appeals to you?

For me, I'm somewhere in the middle.

But, I do wish I could be as organized and tidy as those two women...now, that I'd like to be as extreme  as they both are.  I work at it, but it eludes me somewhat.

Here's to differences and to finding our own style!

Must Be Spring - Part 2


The fruit trees are blossoming; so breathtakingly beautiful.

And, RAH turned on the water bucket.


And, right now, it's raining.

Must be spring!

HOORAY!

3.06.2013

The Dilemma

Yesterday, a guy came in and told me he had quit his job.  He felt that his boss had asked him to compromise his principles so he quit after four years.  He also said the work environment was hostile and not good.  (But, isn't there always two sides to every story?)

 A few minutes later, I left for the day.  Early this morning, I learned his boss wanted a replacement.  IMMEDIATELY!

Now, here's the dilemma; do I encourage people to apply for a job that, according to Jason, was not a very honorable place to work?  Is that my place to make a decision about?

It's a DILEMMA.





The Sound of the Bell

It's such a simple sound, but it's also such a marvelous sound.

And, even though Lynette didn't want to ring it, Sister McMichael did it for her.

Ah, music to the ears....short-lived music, but a happy sound, nonetheless.

3.04.2013

DRUG DEALERS....

I deplore you.

You ruin lives, families, homes, careers, good people.

You are despicable.

I am always blown away by the people who come in saying they have a felon on their record.

While some look ragged and worn, some, like the gentleman today, look like ordinary people.

And, then they say,

I HAVE A FELON ON MY RECORD.

And, once again, i want to just pounce on the people promoting this evil, evil, evil!

The person with the record often can't get a job; they can't get on with their lives; they can't get out from under that five-letter word.

And, I fear for my dear grandchildren.  How do I protect them against just one moment of a stupid, stupid decision?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!

A locked closet until they are 35 sounds like a very good plan.


Would My Grandkids....

even have a clue what this is?

Well, we have certainly come a long way, Baby!

Okay, I admit it; I applaud the updates!

3.02.2013

It Must be SPRING!

They won't last long at all.

But, for just a short while, they will remind me of the wonders of spring.

And, they will remind me of a dear friend who sent them to me several years ago.

Thank you, Sister Emery, for the beautiful reminder of spring and your ever-lasting friendship!

Spring Cleaning!

I saw this recently on Pinterest....so, I got started...


Today, I did day two, but I also worked on one book shelf in my office...I don't even see bookshelves on here, and that is going to be a huge task for me.  I also don't see closets.

So, there are going to be some additional items to do than are listed here, but that's okay...

Just a little each day.

Here's to a clean house.