Divorce STINKS!

I got an email yesterday from an ex-daughter-in-law.

I have always loved her and been grateful she is the mother of our two granddaughters.

But, she wrote a sad letter about how she feels our son is cheating her financially.

I don't want to be involved in this.

I don't want to know this or hear about it.

I do, however, want him to be honorable and do the right thing.

Which he told me he is doing all that the law has required of him.

It's so sad.

What I wanted to say to her was this:

This would never have happened; you wouldn't even be in this situation if YOU hadn't walked out on him, and abandoned your two daughters when they were just little.  

It's true, you had second thoughts and came back to your daughters, but YOU have been the cause of this whole heartache.

And, I'm sorry that you are unhappy, but I'm on our son's side.  I think he is doing what is required of him, and I don't  want to be caught in the middle of this mess of your own making.

Ah, Life is hard.

And, divorce STINKS!


WOW! Another Year Whizzed By

This has been a good year.

I am loving our mission, our home, everything feels good right now.

Oh, sure, there are lots of problems; finances for some families, hard things for some, challenges for all.

But, it's good.

And, I love the Savior.


Death of a Roommate

She was talking on the phone to one of her five sons.

Suddenly, the line went dead.

He called a cousin in the same town, who broke into her house, and found her sitting where she had been talking on the phone.

A surprising death indeed, but such a peaceful, non-painful way to go.

Oh, she was a character, that Lauralee Catherine Lucille Bannatyne Stevenson...then she married twice so her name was Lauralee Catherine Lucille Bannatyne Stevenson Olson Elliot.

We had reconnected the last couple of years on Face Book, and she had had some health issues, but she was still happy, helping others, caring about others, just doing good.

I was stunned to open my FB page, and see her son posting of her death.

Life is so fragile, precious, and fleeting.

Rest in Peace, dear Lauralee!

But, most of all, thanks for the memories from 1963!


The Sunday Visits

Today I visited FIVE - yes, that's right...

FIVE families.

Short but sweet visits.

Oh, how I love the people in my neighborhood.

Here's how it played out.

Jerry & Linda Asay; they had just gotten home from church.  Linda looked great in her blue outfit.  Jerry looks weak, but he was in good spirits, which i was glad about.  They had just returned form Thanksgiving with their children in Tucson.

After dinner, I went  to see Edith, my visiting teaching person. She has zero interest in the church, but she's great.

Abby Forsyth, who just returned from her mission and gave her mission report.  What an obedient, wonderful young lady.

Steve & Rachael Beckstrom, to tell them how wonderful their young son is.  He is so prepared for baptism...it was astonishing to me how well prepared and knowledgable he is.

Baelie Beatty, only she wasn't home, so I visited briefly with Waunita.

I love, admire, and respect all these people.

When I got home, OUR home teacher was here.

And, I'm so very grateful for Ron Olson.

I have such good people in my life and I feel blessed.



Once again,

I heard another truly heart-breaking story from a wonderful young mother in our ward.

her husband just walked out and left her!

This is her fourth marriage.

She married the man of her dreams and he died of a brain tumor when her youngest daughter was a few months old.

Since then, she has met and married three - good - men.

Only they weren't good.

They turned out be scumbags, losers, whiners, or whatever.

She is devastated.....of course....naturally.


And, on the other hand, some families just glide thru life.

OH, I'm praying for you, my dear KA.



Life is pretty calm and good right now.

I don't want that to change.

Life is such a flow of ups and downs.

I'm not very good at the downs.

So, I want everything to just stay the same as it is right now.

No changes....just same old, same old.

So, please do not disturb.


Baptismal Covenant

When we are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,

we make a covenant to...


This is a very big challenge for me.


I only want good things and happy things for people....

Whether they are people that I know personally or whether they are people on the news people in far-flung countries.

It's just so hard for me to see or hear about the sufferings of others.

So, this week, when a wonderful missionary friend opened up to me about her financial horror stories with the IRS, I was stunned and depressed and overwhelmed with sorrow for her.  I cannot stop thinking about it.

I want so badly to help her, but how can I//

She has spent literally thousands and thousands of dollars to get out of this horrific situation, but it follows her everywhere; the fear, the harassment, the continual requests for more money to settle the account.

They have nothing left.  She confided in me that she is terrified the IRS will take her home when they make their final payment next month.  She feels she is bing stalked, watched, recorded.

She has hired good lawyers, and they have drained their entire savings, but still there is no resolution.

This scenario has broken my heart and has caused her husband, aged 80, to lose his health.

She is so stressed.

And, yet, she continues to serve faithfully at the Family Search Library.

How can our very own government do this to us?

Just heart-breaking.

So, I will pray.

Then, pray some more.


My Apologies...


the neighbors who lost weight and gained it all back...

I was judgemental.


the HUGE man at the buffet last week.

I was judgemental.


the lady where I work who waddles from her heavy weight.

I was judgemental.

I am ashamed that I was so unfeeling about your weight.

And, now that judgment has come back to haunt me.

Because, you see, last year, I lost weight.

But, now it is all coming back and I'm on the other side of the coin.

Wondering how it could happen....

Wondering why I can't control this situation....

Wondering WHY I have been so unfeeling towards others who continually struggle with their weight.

And, so to you, I apologize.


The Devil in the Story

Earlier this week, I went to do a temple endowment session.

I try to go to the temple every other week, but I haven't been for awhile since we were gone the entire summer.

And, I usually do initiatory.

But I decided to do an endowment.

It was just so amazing to me how REAL the Satan in the movie seemed to be.  He was smiling, slick, went in close to Eve's face.  He was, to use the word in the temple, very beguiling.

And, I realized - again - that is how he is in real life.

He's so beguiling that it's easy to be persuaded to his way of thinking.

Oh, I want to stay away.

I need to get the devil out of my life and not listen to his beguiling ways.

I'm grateful for the Gospel and the perspective it brings to my life.

I love the Savior and His Lite.


Dear Young Mother....

Thank you for your visit today with your two young children.  I appreciated and enjoyed it.

I saw you look with a little envy at the clean kitchen counter; the living room floor without any Legos or dolls scattered around; the decorative blanket on the couch that wasn't draped into tents covering all the furniture; no Play Dough scrunched into the carpet.

I notice you looked at the bowl of candy and nuts sort of longingly as if they would not last a minute at your home and they would be scattered all over the coffee table.

You apologized profusely when your son started to bang on the table with your keys and when he started to whine and your daughter began to cry.  You felt uncomfortable during the visit because my home is so quiet, so orderly, and I know yours with four young children is hectic, cluttered, noisy, and filled with LIFE.

But, let me tell you this:  YOU NEEDN't HAVE HAD ANY OF THOSE FEELINGS.

Because, you see, I totally get it.

I've been there - just exactly where you are.

I've walked into a home with small children and felt so uncomfortable and awkward and out of place and like, "what am I doing here?"

SO, here's the thing; TRULY......

EVERYTHING will change.

I'm sure you get tired of hearing people tell you how quickly it will pass.....

Not when you are struggling to change ANOTHER diaper, wipe up another runny nose, hear the whiney cry of, "Mom, I'm hungry," trip over another toy car, spend a sleepless night with a child who is coughing and fevered, look with dismay at the piles of laundry scattered all over the house, get the kids buckled in the car only to have one of them say they need to go potty; feel like you can't take another minute of the chaos, noise, fighting, whining, bickering, teasing, screams, tantrums, clutter.

Oh, yes, beautiful young mother; things WILL change - it may not seem to go quickly when you are in the thick of it, but it will happen.

And, you too will have an orderly home, a quiet home, no fingerprints, no dust, no scattered toys on the floor, no cookie crumbs in the carpet, no noise.  And, you too, will have a young mother visit you.

You will look with fond memories and think, as I often do, I've been there.  It was hard, it was a challenge, it was lonely, it meant long hours; but now, I reap the rewards of having done it by enjoying being with my adult children; they are good, they are inspiring, they are good parents of their own.  They bring me great JOY that I may have missed in the day-to-day struggle of raising them.   

Now, I will be content with this situation knowing I fought the fight.

I will enjoy this time in my life.

And, then the grandchildren will come rushing thru the front door and you will smile and say with GLEE, "Let the Destruction and the FUN begin!"


The Way to Happiness


Last night I spent time with my wonderful brother and two of his children and 8 of his grandchildren.

They are just so good and perfect.

And, it's always a joy to be spend time with them.

I do love my family.


The People in Our Neighborhood

I just love my visiting teacher, Wendy Dupras; she's so pleasant, interested in others, and just plain GOOD.

She represents the people in our neighborhood

Just good, good people.

And, it's such a blessing to know them.


Make Up Your Mind!

RAH and I both have a hard time making up our minds, but he even more so than I.

Well, we have been going back and forth on a very major decision for about one month.

We'd settle, then change our minds.

This morning, after much consternation and wavering, RAH made a decision.

And, I'm so grateful that it turned out the way it did.

I'm silently giving thanks for the outcome.

And, on an entirely different note; it's very hot outside.


An Answer to a Prayer

No one has ever really said that to me before; but this morning....

when I offered to tend Jessica's little girls on Friday morning at ten....

She just sort of stared at me for a minute.

Then, she said...

You are an answer to a prayer...my friend wants me to come can peaches at ten, but she wanted me to get a babysitter so the girls wouldn't be in the way.  It's amazing you offered for just the day and time I needed it.

I was thankful and glad to be able to help.....

And, it's easy and fun to tend her three delightful daughters!


The Sunday Visits

It's been awhile since I've done some Sunday visits, but yesterday, I went on two (three, actually, but they weren't home at one home.)

It was Bill's birthday, and I just love to visit him.  I took him three little tiny cinnamon rolls and he gave ME a big box of cookies!  Something is wrong with this picture!

Since it was his 78th birthday, I asked him a little about his growing-up years and his life in general.

He started working at 14 in an upholstery shop; he was hired to sweep up, but he also learned the valuable trade of doing upholstery work.  He also learned how to make and put on convertible tops.  When he and Barbara married, he had nine motorcycles, and a couple of huge dune buggies; not the wimpy kind we have around here, he said

It was so fun to hear his stories and to talk to him.....his poor dear wife, Barbara just sits and occasionally says something, but she is suffering from dementia, so it's hard to really carry on a conversation with her. I always love going to visit and I'm grateful to have them as neighbors.

Then,  Allen and I visited Dr. John Howe; we don't go see him nearly often enough.  He is alone most of his day, and he can't get out of bed as he fears he will fall over; he gets vertigo so badly and has already had a couple of falls.

While visiting him, his home teacher came in - now there is a talker/character.  He's new in the ward and we want to get better acquainted with him, but he's got a story for everything.  I felt sorry for poor John, as he was left out of the conversation, but it was a pleasant hour listening to Mike's stories.
I hope that John could follow and enjoyed it as well.

I'm thankful that I find the stories of other people so interesting and am willing to listen and not just talk; it's just fascinating to hear about other people and their lives.


The Prayer Answered....Not As I Expected

Her lesson two weeks ago was wonderful, inspiring, and motivating.

It was taken from a conference talk entitled;

What Lack I Yet?

We were challenged to go home and to make that our prayer...

I did so...hesitatingly.

My answer was not what I expected or imagined or wanted.

I was called to be the leader of the Bear Den (see previous post!)

So, I guess I'm lacking enough Scout experience!!!!!!!!!  Ha ha.....

I've been humbled.

Gotta work hard in this calling.

Because there is a message in here somewhere that I need to learn.


The Murmurer

It was at Pack Night a few nights ago.

The Cub Master had a big huge picture of the Grinch at the front....

She had asked kids to write how to make the Grinch smile...they had written many ideas and posted them on the green painted Grinch.

After she read a few them Andrea said, "When you think of people who murmer, who do you immediately think of," many children responded...."Laman and Lemuel."

Not MOI: I thought of Moi, ME, Loni, Sister Hackworth!

It was all so very ironic that she had posed THAT question, THAT night.

For you see, I had just spent the last two or more hours murmuring.

On Sunday, the Bishop called me to be a Bear Den Leader.  Of course, I said, YES, kicking and screaming inside all the way.

Then on Thursday, when it was actually Pack Night, I murmered in my head for an entire day and particularly for the two hours before the event.

"I'm too old for this!'

"I don't even like boys this age!"

"I've never been a fan of Scouts!"

"I don't know why they would call an old lady for a young person's job!"

"Why don't they ask a mother who has a kid this age?"

"Doesn't the Bishop understand we are leaving for the entire summer, so I will only be here for a few months?"


So, here I was;


I was embarrassed even though no one knew my thoughts.  I was embarrassed at myself, before God, and why I would be such a murmurer....

Now, here's the really sad thing.  Next week, when Thursday - Bear meeting - rolls around, I'll probably be murmuring once again.

So, step aside, Laman and Lemuel, you've got company....dang it!


Feeling Hungry....

Once again, I find myself trying to lose "just a few more pounds!"

One of my goals is to not eat after 7 at night.

That's a challenge.

Like - every Monday for FHE - we meet at 6, have our meeting, then refreshments.  I'm not usually tempted, but I was last night; crackers, cheese, nuts, fruit, etc.  But it was after 7.

So, I normally go to bed HUNGRY.

During the day, since I'm trying to eat better and less,


It's the new norm.

I don't mean to complain or to compare myself in any way to people in third world countries who are starving....that is not me.

But food surrounds me, and I'm not eating it.

It's so tempting....like last night.

I'll keep trying, even though I don't see results.

In the meantime, I'll chew gum, snack on celery, and read a good book or work on family history.

Good plan.  (Not entirely successful, but worth trying at any rate!)


The Devil Made Me NOT Do It!

For the last couple of years, I've had a sort-of unwritten, unspoken goal in my head;

To go to the temple twice a month - once every other week.

Should be very easy, right?

But, so many weeks, Satan steps right up in my head and says things like:

It's raining, can't go on a rainy day.

It's really sunny, you need to work outside instead.

The floors need sweeping, better stay home and clean them.

It's windy, don't want to get your hair messed up, do you?

You need to exercise.

Better stay home and do family history.

Hey, don't you need to...........and the list goes on and on.

I'm always glad when I go.

I'm always glad to get Satan out of my head and do the right thing.

And, today, I did just that.


The Sunday Visits

Three Visits;

Two heartwarming, one sorrowful.

RAH and I love to visit Dr. Howe.  He has such great stories to tell and he has a wonderful memory about his youth.

I asked him to share a Christmas memory from his childhood growing up on a farm.  Two days before Christmas, his family went shopping in town where he and his brothers saw a Flexible Flyer (sled) in a store window.  They so badly wanted that sled, but it had a big SOLD sign on it...which caused them a great deal of disappointment.  Imagine their surprise on Christmas morning, when they were the ones who got that SOLD sled - they had hours of fun on that sled, so it was great memory for John indeed and a fun story for us.

DC had struggled with some relationships in her ward, particularly after a lady came to her home and accused her of being dishonest.  After that, it was hard for DC to even go to Relief Society.  But, as she is serving a local mission, she felt like she needed to clean her inner vessel.  So, she said, "This is my problem....I need to not let this bother me any more."  She said one day, the bitter , sad feelings were just no longer there.  She, once again, loves being with the sisters and being in Relief Society.  WOW, inspiring.

Visiting with JM was sorrowful; it brought tears to her eyes as she told me her complex story.  She married in the temple, had two wonderful children, but along the way, her husband developed addictions....he no longer wanted to attend church, be a part of the family, contribute to the well-being of the family.  He has just isolated himself from his wonderful wife, son, and daughter. JM is going to school so that she can take care of her family.  It was a sad story, but she looked me in the eye and said, "You are the first person to even ask me my situation.  No one else has even shown an interest."

Why are we so indifferent to the sorrows and cares of others?!?!??!

I do love the Sunday visits, even if some are sorrowful....

EVERYONE has a story to tell.

And, I love to hear them.



a Love/Despair Relationship!

First of all, I love familysearch.org.

But, it can be so incredibly frustrating....

take this as an example:

Totally erroneous....Dorothy Elizabeth South is NOT the mother of Sharon Tidwell; she was divorced from Frank Alton at the time of Sharon's birth.

It is things like this that leave people frustrated and just wanting to give in and give up!

People come in and change the records and it's just so frustrating.....I recently decided to not even worry about making changes or combing.

I'll just add pictures and let that be my contribution to Familysearch.org...


Time to Give An Accounting!

Goals for 2015:

No French fries.....achieved.
Continue to keep gas tank filled up at 1/2; achieved.
Scriptures every day; achieved, even if only a verse or two, I did it.

Goals for 2014:

Keep gas at 1/2....achieved (Mostly, if it didn't happen, it was because Allen was driving and in     charge, but when I was driving, I did it.)
Scriptures Every day; I am pretty sure I achieved this.

Goals for 2013:

Try a new recipe once a week...failed big time!  Didn't make it much past March on that one.
Scriptures every day...missed a day in March; felt like it was a total failure, but then I kept reading and am quite sure I achieved it....

So, now, it's a new year...what's on tap for this year?!?!?!??!


1.  Keep gas at 1/2 - a continuation....
2.  Scriptures daily - a continuation....
3.  Have desk cleared off each evening.... (inspired by James Clarke, a former student, and winner of one of Utah's top business men of the year....he asks that of his employees...it seems like a good thing to come to a clean desk each morning.)
4.  Lose 10 pounds....this will be so hard; I've been trying and I just can't do it....so, that means I must cut back on sweets.
5.  Not buy soda for me.  I will take a drink of Allen's occasionally, if we are eating out together, but I won't be buying any for me.

And, there you have it.

Let's hear it for NEW YEARS!

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...