5.15.2018

The Sunday Visits

I do so love visiting people on Sundays...

On Mother's Day, I visited three wonderful mothers:

Jessica Stout - expecting her 4th child - a girl, to match her other three.

Bobbi Jo Forsyth - wedding, mission report, mission farewell, high school graduation coming up!

Sheryl Sullivan; Home Decor Extraordinaire!  Every month she has a different theme coinciding with a holiday.  She does it up BIG.

Now, I would not necessarily do what she does, but I've got to hand it to her; she's very creative and her creative juices (and pocketbook- ha ha) are always flowing.

Here are pix of her decor for Mother's Day; she went with a butterfly theme and mothers, as you can tell.

Shoes galore; just like a mom, right?!?!?!


About six months of the year, she puts up her tree and decorates it with the theme of the month.  Even the pictures on her walls are changed to reflect the theme.  It's really quite remarkable.  

Every month, she uses different plates, flatware, and goblets.  New table cloths, and accessories.
What a lady.  She invites six ladies over once a month for her monthly dinners.  Two are regulars, and two are new missionaries for the family history mission.  She's one-of a kind!  Thanks, Loretta Allam, for the pictures.




5.07.2018

Eat More....Move Less

Ha HA HA HA...

that seems to be my mantra the last few months.

I just keep getting bigger.

Because I LIKE food, snacks, goodies, gum drops, chips, chocolate, and other tasty not-so-good-for you-weight-gaining foods.

YIKES.

Gotta change the mantra to what it is supposed to be:

EAT LESS..MOVE MORE!

Okay, so, can I?

5.04.2018

There is Beauty All Around

Very early this morning, I awoke to the beautiful sounds of many birds.

The chirping was intense and plentiful.

Later on in the morning, I realized there were no more birds singing, and I sensed a loss.

But, there are birds that fly around our yard a lot.  They drink from a water thing in our back yard; they light on the big fence between our yard and the Ivey's, the flit from flower to tree to fence and all around.

It's a beautiful sight to see and so delicious other them early in the mornings.

Back against our fence, there are roses galore, flowers in our flower pots, green grass in front and back, little buds flowering on our pomegranate bushes.



It's so beautiful.  It makes my heart happy to see and hear it all.

What a wonderful world.




4.29.2018

I Write Letters to the Dead - Part Two

Dear Dad,

This is such a great picture.  I never knew you to have a mustache.  But, the hat, that's classic!

Last night was the Saturday night session of our stake conference.

WOW!  What a marvelous meeting it was.  From start to end, it was so inspiring.  The music was magnificent and EVERY talk was given by people filled with the spirit of the Lord.

The theme was the church's new program of ministering as the Savior did.  One lady told about how members responded when her house caught fire, destroying everything; another lady told of her brother's death in Iraq as a green beret, another talked of her father-in-law returning to activity after many years away. We were spiritually fed for one hour and a half, leaving little time for the stake president, who is a wonderful speaker.

And, then he got up to speak.  At that moment, I thought about you as the Stake President.  I thought of how the people in our stake love President Mike Thompson; he's energetic, a good speaker, a man of GOD.  And, I realized that the people of the Pocatello South Stake would have revered and honored you.  They would have felt the Stake was in good hands, that they were being led by a man of God.  They would have respected your wisdom, insight, Gospel teachings, and I was overpowered with a feeling of such great love and admiration for you, dear DAD.

Oh, what a great blessing it was to have been raised in your home, filled with laughter, music, and most of all LOVE.  Thank you, President Gee, for those rich beginning18 years.

Love,
Your daughter, VaLonne, Valon, Lonnie, Loni (but I think you know who I mean!)

Dear Mom,

OH, dear mom, I love this picture of you in your youth.  You always loved style, class, and beauty!  You are so beautiful!


Nearly every Thursday, I go to a YOGA class at the Senior Center - it makes me feel so old, but that's the target audience.

And, nearly every week, I think of YOU, dear MOTHER.  I think of how you took Yoga classes in California before it was so hip.  And, then, how you came to Pocatello, Idaho and taught a community class at a school close to your home.

I didn't even know what YOGA was when you told me you were teaching it!

I'm so proud of you, Mom.  You were always giving of your time and talents, no matter what stage of life you were in.

Oh, what a great blessing it was to have been raised in your home, filled with laughter, music, and most of all LOVE.   Thank you, Dorothy Gee for the rich blessing of being your daughter!

Love, your only daughter, so man, was I blessed!

4.28.2018

I Write Letters to the Dead

Dear Dorothy,



This morning, i went to the temple.

As I was folding my dress to put it away, I thought of you and Hubert.  I thought of how you went to the temple every Friday for over 20 years.

It could not have been easy towards the end when you were in such pain from your osteoporosis.

In my mind's eye, I can still remember visiting on a Friday afternoon and you had the ironing board out, ironing yours and your husband's temple clothing so lovingly EVERY FRIDAY!  (I cannot remember the last time I ironed my temple clothes!)  Every week, you took the widows in your ward who wanted to go to the temple, but didn't feel comfortable driving the long drive from St Anthony to Idaho Falls, especially in wintery, icy conditions.  But, weather didn't ever stop you...you went faithfully.  How pleased you would be now if you could go to the Rexburg Temple, which is so much closer!

Your faithfulness always inspired me over the years.  Now, my goad is to go every other week, but sometimes, even that goal is not met, so it makes me realize how truly faithful you were.

Oh, my dear mother-in-law....in every way you were so faithful and you have raised children that you can be so proud of.  Donna goes every week, and I think Regina does also.  I don't know about how often your other family members go, but they all have recommends and honor the life you led and taught them in your humble home.  And, I'm grateful to be a part of that good family.

Love, Loni


Dear Sylvia,

I absolutely LOVE This picture of you working in your father's drug store.  You know what?  You still looked like this the day before you died, when I went to visit you in the hospital.  You just had youthful genes, Ms. Sylvia!


This morning, i went to the temple.

As i put some names on the prayer roll, I thought of how many times over the years, I had put your name in that little brown box.

I thought of our temple trips together and how you were always willing to go, even though it was difficult with your situation.

How I miss taking you and going with you and Allen to Nelson's for your beloved ice filled-Pepsi!  You always had some great story about being in St George in its very early days.  You were such a part of it.

And, you were always HAPPY!  Never complaining; just grateful for each good thing in your life.

Oh, my dear friend, you cannot know how you have inspired me as I continue to think of and miss you greatly.

Love, Loni

4.23.2018

TODAY is....

WORLD BOOK DAY!



I LOVE books.

It was a great blessing to grow up in a home filled with books of all kinds.  Reading is such a marvelous past-time, no matter what the genre.

As I exercise or drive around town, I listen to books on tape.  Right now, I'm listening to Charles Dickens' GREAT EXPECTATIONS.


I know that his books are not appealing to a lot of people, but over the last couple of years, I have become addicted and either listened to/read/watched (or all Three) of most of his books.

He is so profound; he knows the human heart so well.  No one makes characters memorable like Dickens does.  Here is a paragraph from Great Expectations when Miss Havisham realizes that she has ruined Estella's life forever because of her own wish to seek revenge on a man:

That she had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride, found vengeance in, I knew full well. But that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well. And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?

 I did not know what I had done. What have I done! What have I done!" And so again, twenty, fifty times over, What had she done!  "I stole her heart away and put ice in its place."

Dickens just speaks to my soul.  But, I read lots of other books also.

I just finished reading a book about elephants during WWII in Burma.  Man, I had no idea they were so smart and so like humans in some ways.  They are amazing animals, and did remarkable feats during WWII making bridges and transporting people to safety.



Before listening to Dickens, I listened to SHOE DOG, about Phil Knight and inventing the Nike shoe.  Just fascinating.



Or how about books about RUMPOLE of THE BAILEY?  Mom and dad loved to watch that show, which I found quite boring, but man, do I love the books.  I've read or listened to them all multiple times.  They are filled with dry humor and witticisms, mostly directed at his wife: She Who Must Be Obeyed.  Just great fun....for me, at least.



One of my favorite books is SEABISCUIT; a fabulous book about a horse, which normally would not hold my interest, but it's so well written and so well researched.


And UNBROKEN by the same author:

Truthfully, there are just too many good books to name.

SO, I'll just say this on WOLRD BOOK DAY, I'm so glad my family introduced me to READING at an early age.  It has been such a great blessing in my life for so many reasons.

I can't finish this post without adding that I also read the SCRIPTURES every day.  I have been a reader of the Book of Mormon for many years.


It should really be at the head of my list as I've read it the most and the most often.  And, I still love it and find in it new wisdom on a regular basis.  

Okay, I'll say it again:

I LOVE BOOKS!


4.20.2018

It's the Simple Things!

Today, Allen and I had a date.

We went grocery shopping at Smith's Market Place.

It was fun.

HA HA HA HA


We had some very specific items in mind when we headed to that fine establishment.

We bought them, and of course, MORE.

But, it was just fun...simple fun.


I must be getting old when a date to the grocery store makes my day!  HA HA.

4.13.2018

GRANDSONS are the BEST: They are Really GRAND!

Eli, age 14; Miles, almost 12; Loni, way too old; Sayre, age 12 (he's so excited to be a deacon!),
Oscar, age 15, and Calder , age 4.  Sayre and Eli were both just in school plays.  We got to see Eli's, but not Sayre's....maybe another time.  Oscar is getting mighty fine grades.
Aren't they a handsome bunch?


Last week was spring break for five of our grandsons; and we had a GRAND time!  I loved having them all here.  What fine young men they all are.  Just fun to be around.  GOOD, GOOD, GOOD.

And, I'm so grateful we got to spend some time together.

4.12.2018

What a Great Fun Surprise!

I really love our new Relief Society Presidency;

they are YOUNG and Full of ENERGY!

What a fun surprise when the day after my birthday, these wonderful ladies ( and one young man) showed up on my doorstep to sing Happy Birthday!  I loved it.  They are doing their ministering and I got to be the beneficiary!)


We had a great presidency before also.  And before that too.

Okay, I've just been blessed to have wonderful women as my leaders over the past years.  What a great blessing.

4.02.2018

Write About It In Your Journal

What a grand and glorious conference over the weekend.

One of the inspiring events to be a part of, was the Solemn Assembly to sustain a

NEW PROPHET.

He has such a delightful spirit and sparkling personality.  It is easy to see why the Lord wanted this man to be our prophet.


It was so meaningful.

As I listened to President Nelson talk about Personal Revelation, I pictured him as a prophet of old from the OLD and NEW Testaments.

Was I willing to accept him?  Would I pay attention to what he says?

Would I have done that in olden times?

Oh, how I hope so.

The messages, the music, the feelings...

All so very wonderful and inspiring.

Now, to listen again and follow what we were taught.  There's the challenge!

ADDENDUM:

On Easter Sunday, Allen, Jenni, and I fixed a mighty fine, healthy Easter meal.

Baked asparagus, Butternut squash, and Salmon.  Healthy and tasty; great combination!



3.28.2018

RETIRED?!?!?!??!

Sometimes I look at my upcoming events during the week and I think?

THIS IS RETIREMENT?



This is how I feel sometimes.

Appointments, exercise, service, baby sitting, visiting teaching, errands, grocery shopping, guests coming to visit, cooking, cleaning...etc.


Some days I wish my list looked like this:

But, I guess I should be glad that I can still move, drive, see, walk, be mobile.

Okay, I'll take that thought.

3.25.2018

Good Friends, Good Times

RAH bought a Jeep.

It was a lifelong dream.

He's been having a lot of fun with it.  He loves to explore roads wherever he lives or travels.

Mike and Loretta Allam; Garn & Dorothy Huntington - at Coal Pit Mesa via Dalton Wash outside of Virgin, Utah....
the area was filled with bikers from all over, but it was a tricky road, so they got their exercise in!


And having a JEEP allows him to explore just the kind of back road trails he loves.

He loves to share his adventures with good friends.



So, that's what we did yesterday.

Oldest and largest PECAN tree in the state of Utah.  It's on the property in Virgin, Utah,
where Dorothy Huntington grew up.

And, it was good.

3.24.2018

A Marriage of Opposites

They say Opposites Attract...

Well, that is true of what was going on in my home last night.

I was WATCHING the NCAA tournaments on television,



but LISTENING to the live MESSIAH on my iPhone.



I found great humor in that situation.

Who knows?  Maybe Messiah music is a perfect backdrop for basketball.


3.22.2018

DNA - Finding My Roots



The DNA kit was a gift from our son and daughter in law for Christmas.

It shows where we came from; a few real surprises like Scandinavian...didn't know I had much of that in my DNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OR DNA from Iberia....I didn't even know where that was!  HA HA.

But, I did find out some very surprising things when I discovered some relationships.

IT's all so complicated....

Also, let me add this; there is so much sorrow in life and it has affected our family deeply.

I'm grateful for the Gospel, but that has not protected me, nor will it from some of the challenges in our family.  It should HELP me with the knowledge that all will be made right.

Oh, I do hope so.

Fear not, doubt not!

Good advise.

As for the DNA, it's FUN because of the surprises.

So, thanks, Justin and Amy, for the fun gift.


3.14.2018

The Motivator

In the Beginning, I used a pedometer which I attached to my waistband on any pants that I wore.

Over the years, I had quite a few including some that looked just like this.  The most steps I remember getting was one day in Washington, DC, we walked around sight-seeing with some friends and the pedometer registered 17,000 steps.  Man, I was exhausted at the end of the day, but normally, I didn't get close to 10,000 steps.  Plus, I don't think it was very accurate.

After that craze, a few years ago, I had a FIT BIT:

It was great for keeping track of my steps each day.  I rarely got to 10,000, but it was good to see how INactive I usually was.

Then, I heard about the Apple Watch.  What a waste, I thought.  Who would pay that much for a WATCH that simply tells time?



Well, as it turns out, I WOULD!

And, as it turns out; I LOVE IT!

Of all the devices I have used over the years, this is the most motivating for me.

Plus, it has some funky screens when I want to change the look a little.

I love the little MINNIE MOUSE face; I can change the color of her dress to a variety of colors, and when I touch her,
she  tells me the time in a  little squeaky voice...gimmicky, but for me; I like it.


Here's the thing; it is expensive, but I really LIKE it, use it, and I won't need a different watch for a very long time.

Most of all, it truly motivates me to MOVE/red circle; EXERCISE/green circle; STAND/blue circle.

And, NO, I am not being paid by Apple, but even so, I'm SOLD on this great motivator.




3.13.2018

IRONIC TWIST

It was a shock to see the neighbor had been fired.

I kept thinking about it; about his marvelous family; about how it would affect them all.

But, I was so inspired by them all.

And, THEN, in a shocking twist of fate, my son-in-law was fired.

Out of the blue.  Out of nowhere.

Oh man, how could this even happen?

BUT, right across the street, I have an example of how I am supposed to handle this devastating situation;

with FAITH and HOPE!  And, a belief in the goodness of a God who will hear and answer my prayers.

3.07.2018

Being Inspired....

by our neighbors.

Glenn was just fired in a very public way for a very stupid reason!

DSU fires faculty members Glenn Webb, Ken Peterson


It's all so very tragic and so unnecessary and so spiteful on the president's and provost's part.

Glen has received dozens and dozens of support posts on FB, but that will likely not have any effect on the outcome of his current position as chairman of the music department.

But, here's the thing; through all of this ugliness and tragedy, Glen and his wonderful wife, Carrie, have been strong in their faith of the Atonement, strong in their not resorting to backstabbing, strong in their resolve to see it through, and strong to let it takes its outcome, which does not look promising.

They have totally inspired me and others with their commitment to Gospel principles of being Christian.  From Carrie Webb's FB post:

Shared from the Living the 7 Habits app:
These principles (fairness, integrity and honesty, human dignity, service, quality or excellence, potential, growth, patience, nurturance, and encouragement) surface time and time again, and the degree to which people in a society recognize and live in harmony with them moves them toward either survival and stability or disintegration and destruction.
Paradigms & Principles of Effectiveness
This statement pretty much sums up what is wrong and right in our community. I’m so grateful to have a strong faith in Jesus Christ along with a strong belief in these principles.  #LIM #choosekindnesd

Glen and Carrie Webb; neighbors for many years; they have a married son and daughter, and a son on a mission in England.  It was because of a casual remark he made to his son in a letter, that he is being fired.  The University has accused him of willfully and intentionally undermining a person's character when he told his son, Tommy, in the letter that the 8 member faculty board had decided not to renew a drama teacher's contract.  IT's all so STUPID!


How do I know all this?

Because I live across the street and have talked with them.  And, I know what kind of people they are.

THE BEST!


I'm just hoping and praying for a good outcome for this marvelous family!

3.06.2018

Once a Month....

a group of six get together for lunch.  We take turns picking the restaurant, and we just sit around the table, laugh, and enjoy each other.

Yesterday, Mike and Loretta told me they were going on a Disneyland Cruise.  What came out of my mouth next just horrified me.

Why would I even ask such a question?

I'm still distressed over what I asked them....they are our dearest friends, and it was a mean, unkind, unthoughtful thing to have asked.

Later on last night, I went to their house to apologize.  I cannot begin to say how difficult it was for me.  But, on the other hand, I cannot begin to say how KIND they both were in accepting my apologies; they had not taken offense, and expressed how much they appreciated our friendship.



Oh, there is absolutely nothing like good friends!  Thanks, Mike and Loretta, for being our friends, in spite of my wretched tongue!

3.03.2018

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

When I returned home from the night shift, Allen handed me this envelope with these gift cards inside.
What a sweetheart is he!  Made me smile.  He's good and thoughtful.
About five o'clock, Marlaine Dayton came in with this bag of goodies; it astonished me, as I had just met her last week.
Look at all those thoughtful goodies...(I had told her Allen just bought a new Jeep, and we were going to go adventuring; hence the tylenol, lotion, and lip balm, I suppose.  It was just so sweet and so unexpected.
Notice also a little box with a red ribbon; that was given to me by Janna Olson, one of the missionaries I will truly miss.
The room just before anyone comes in at nine.  After nine, it's FILLED with missionaries and visitors!
Sad, happy, relieved, sorrowful.

All the emotions of something one loves coming to an end.

That was me on Feb 28....a day I had been looking forward to, but also Not looking forward to.

End of an era.

End of third family history mission.

End of many marvelous friendships...we say we will keep in touch, but I know realistically how that works, and it doesn't.

What can I say?  I loved it.  I realized that I didn't really know that much.  I was okay with family search, terrible at Ancestry, and c- at research.

I loved the visitors and the missionaries; the happy feelings that always permeated the building every day.

It's over and here's my last day photos to recall the wonderful 18 months.

Outside on our front porch for the final day of the mission!


This new family history center opened in June 2018....It is a happy place and always very busy!









2.26.2018

MISSIONARIES are the Best!

The missionaries came over for dinner on Saturday night.

Elder Hall  from the south and Elder Wood from Washington.

Both had very unique and interesting family stories to tell.

And, both helped a little with the puzzle, while RAH did the dishes...ha ha.



Missionaries are the Best!

2.24.2018

STRONG FAMILIES....

needed now more than ever.

The more I help people with their family history, the more I realize how complicated families are right now.

So much dysfunction, so much sorrow, so much despair.

If only we would live as the prophets have said, our lives would all be so much better.  And, this goes for my family as well.

When will people recognize that Wickedness never will be happiness?

This morning, I spent a few hours helping Janet Barlow with her family history.  It was fun to share what little I knew with someone who knew even less!

I'm grateful for the mission and for knowing how to do family tree/family search.

I'm grateful Allen taught me all those many years ago to use the computers; what a boon in this day and age in doing family history.  And, the more I help people, the more I realize how complicated it is for the novice.

And, the more I realize that families are very complicated, just like family history!




2.15.2018

Fall From Grace

He was on a pedestal...

The more I learned, the higher the pedestal grew in my eyes.

He was one of the truly good ones.

Until a few months ago.

He came tumbling down.

And, I feel sad about that turn of events.

2.13.2018

From the Start...

it was just a bad morning.

I arrived at prayer meeting at 8:29, thinking I would be on time for the start at 8:30.  But, they had already started!  What in the heck?

The room was entirely filled and the BOSS (Elder Merrell) watched me come in late.  He has made a commitment to have everyone come on time in 2018...OOPS.

Then, I was trying to help someone print some names to take to the temple; the names JUST WOULD NOT PRINT!  I kept hitting print, and going to the printer to see if they were printed.

No such luck.

I asked Brother Moon to help; he walked to the printer and there were SIX copies of the names.

BAD, BAD, BAD......

A lady asked me to print off a death certificate, but it would only print the top half.  We were NEVER able to get the bottom half printed by the time I left for home. 

I told RAH that it's time for the mission to be over...so many mistakes and errors and so forth.

In spite of all that, I do enjoy the mission, but I'm feeling a little trunky.  So much more to learn, and I'm stuck with what I already know. 

When I arrived home for lunch, RAH had a delicious stir fry ready and waiting to be devoured.

AND, he also had a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day. 

That softened the blows of the morning.

Ah, another day tomorrow to try and do better!

2.09.2018

Part Two: The Thoughtfulness of Others

Andrea lives directly behind us.

This picture is VERY old; taken lots of years ago before she had any of their joint children.
She is THE BEST!


In total, she has 11 children in her family;

3 from her first marriage,

Roger had 5 from his first marriage,

And together they have had three children.

The oldest is married and living away from home.

The other 4 from Roger's marriage live part-time with their mother, but they are with Andrea LOTS.

So, she always has a houseful of people to do laundry for and FEED, FEED, FEED.

Over the years, she has shared cookies, desserts, bread, eggs, etc.

Tonight, however, she outdid herself.

She sent over tinfoil dinners for RAH and me.

Can you imagine?  She has 11 people to feed tonite and she sent over tinfoil dinners for US!

Well, that just blows me away.

She is absolutely the kindest, most thoughtful, giving person.  How do I ever repay someone like Andrea?  Oh, I love that young mother.

She puts me to shame and reminds me that I must do MUCH BETTER!

2.08.2018

Mattless Yoga

Today, as most Thursdays, I went to mattless YOGA.

Led by the soft-spoken, teeny CeCe, it's a great workout.

And, It's good to go and get a little exercise.

My balance is improving.  Especially on my left foot.  My right foot is still very wobbly, but I'll just keep going and keep trying.

2.07.2018

The Thoughtfulness of Others

Yesterday, early in the morning at the mission, I got a note saying Jacquelyn would like to come have some help at 9:00 pm.

Although I couldn't remember who she was, I was ready and waiting for her.  She was a dear lady that I had helped a week ago.

We found her several names to take to the temple, so I got up to print the papers.

When I returned, there was a little sandwich bag of Valentine candy waiting for me.  It was so very sweet and thoughtful.  It had little red kisses, some hard Valentine candy, some chocolate wrapped candies (which she said are delicious!), and one red gumdrop.



I was so surprised and thanked her profusely because it was so unexpected, so thoughtful, and so sweet. 

I am often amazed at simple, yet thoughtful gestures that people do. 

It brings a lot of joy to know those kinds of people and is a reminder that that is the kind of person I would like to be.

2.06.2018

Being a Good Steward

I'm going through my father's papers.

I just found some financial reports of his which tell his salary for the year 1984.  I was stunned at how little it was.  Then, I put it into a google chart that tells the value of that amount for 2018.  It was shockingly little.

The thing that amazed me was how generous my parents were; how much they shared with family and how they made that small amount go so far.

When he died, we each got some money from his estate, and I now realize that he was very frugal and was a very good steward over what he had.

For many years, I encouraged him, begged him, pleaded with him to get a newer car.  He always declined.  He didn't go out and buy expensive things.  The only thing he really spent money on was my mom, pies/cakes, and techno gadgets.  (He had so many useless gadgets in his basement after he died.  Still makes me laugh, although I take after him in that regard!)

Oh, dear father and mother, you left such a great legacy of love and being financially conservative.

I've never followed your example, but oh, how I wish I had.


2.01.2018

PLAYING THE STOCK MARKET

It's scary;  downright frightening.

And, where will it all end?

About 9 months ago, Allen discovered an app where you can invest in stocks with no broker fees.



At first, he tried to be a day trader; bad news.  We lost most of the time.

Then, he recently tried a new strategy....pick a few safe stocks and stick with them.

We make, we lose a little.  Over all, we are WAY DOWN!

But, he just invested another chunk of money, and it's father frightening for me.

Just hoping......

Addendum:  The stock market took a two-day hit that was the biggest loss ever!  Allen took all the money out on Feb 6, 2018...so that ends our playing the market.

(We have some money in Apple that has been there for several years!)

1.31.2018

From the Mission

My mission is winding down; only one month left.

8 times.

I will genuinely miss the missionaries and the visitors.

Like today....I helped Loretta Allam scan in pictures from an old, old family album that her grandmother gave her.  The album is absolutely priceless, as are the old pictures contained therein.  I just kept thinking, what would a person do with these precious pictures if there weren't Family Search.  After Loretta is gone, will her daughters care about the album?  But, now the pictures are FOREVER in a safe place for anyone to see.  Loretta felt so relieved and grateful to have a place to put her pictures.

I can say that I truly love the people I serve with.

They all have stories to tell; sad, funny, inspiring, memorable, tragic, happy, joyful.

I will miss those stories.

For me personally, there will be a loss.

So, I will enjoy this last month and be glad for it.

1.24.2018

Stories From the Mission

The last couple of days have been filled with meeting so many marvelous people at the family search center.

I wish that I remembered all their stories; but I met a lady who has 12 children; she and her husband have served three missions, but they are going to help grandchildren now.  She was delightful, as was her PHD husband.

I helped a lady whose daughter died of cancer leaving five small children, and the husband had a nervous breakdown.  She and her husband essentially raised the children and that was 20 years ago.  She now feels like she can devote some time to family history.

This evening, I helped a beautiful, classy lady named "FAITH," who was given that name during WWII because her grandmother had Faith that her four sons serving in WWII would return home.  Faith's mother was in a state of shock because she had just learned after giving birth at 17, that her father died in a mining accident in Price, Utah the day she had her baby daughter.  Faith is eager to start working on her family history, but I showed her how to do the audio memories, which I hope she will do.

On Tuesday, while working with a man in his late sixties, I was quite amazed at his typing speed...most men of his age don't type at all, and never that rapidly.  He told me he types 100 words a minute, and there was a story to his fast typing.  Since I love stories, I was all ears.

He took typing his 8th grade year and did okay; nothing to brag about.  But, he spent the summer working in his father's title company office and improved greatly.  When fall semester started, he had signed up for typing II, but during the typing test, the entire class got up to watch him type because the old manual typewriter carriage was dinging so fast!  The teacher insisted that he take another class instead of Type II.  And, now, he wants to put those skills to work in family history.

On Wednesday night, I helped two boys set up an account; they were 14 and the BEST young men ever.  Young kids these days are so on the ball, sharp, and dedicated to doing family history work; it's just FUN!

PEOPLE - all different, all fun, all unique.  What a joy to meet with them.




1.22.2018

On Being COLD

No matter what we tried to do, we couldn't warm up.

More clothing, walking briskly; nothing seemed to help as the air conditioned airport closed in around us.  It was cold on this winter night.

As I was shivering, I thought of the PIONEERS.

It didn't seem like a very likely comparison.

 I was inside a building....they didn't have any buildings when they were coming across the plains.  I would be able to get some heat at some point.  But, for them, there was no relief; no warm building, no additional clothing to pile on, no hope of finding a warm room in a warm building.

And, as I was shivering, thinking of them, I realized that, once again, I owe them so much.  They did what I do not think I could have done.  They suffered so tremendously; they endured.  I felt like such a wimp that cold afternoon when I contemplated what they had gone through.

While I was exercising this morning, I listened to a talk by our new Prophet in which he shared this experience from Eliza R Snow:

Eliza R. Snow, second General President of the Relief Society, offered a riveting answer. Because of Missouri’s infamous extermination order, issued at the onset of the grueling winter of 1838,7 she and other Saints were forced to flee the state that very winter. One evening, Eliza’s family spent the night in a small log cabin used by refugee Saints. Much of the chinking between the logs had been extracted and burned for firewood by those who preceded them, so there were holes between the logs large enough for a cat to crawl through. It was bitter cold, and their food was frozen solid.
That night some 80 people huddled inside that small cabin, only 20 feet square (6.1 meters square). Most sat or stood all night trying to keep warm. Outside, a group of men spent the night gathered around a roaring fire, with some singing hymns and others roasting frozen potatoes. Eliza recorded: “Not a complaint was heard—all were cheerful, and judging from appearances, strangers would have taken us to be pleasure excursionists rather than a band of gubernatorial exiles.”
Eliza’s report of that exhausting, bone-chilling evening was strikingly optimistic. She declared: “That was a very merry night. None but saints can be happy under every circumstance.”8

What a remarkable attitude those Saints had.  

And, what a complaining nature I seem to have.

I have a long way to go to unfreeze my cold heart to become a true SAINT!

1.04.2018

From the Mission

I just love serving at the FamilySearch Center; it's a JOY to be a part of that great atmosphere.

On Tuesday, a retired orthopedic surgeon and his lovely wife came to see what it was all about.

The center features giant touch screens with a variety of interactive displays all showing connections to their families.  They are all interesting and many people say, "I could come and spend a lot of time here!"

One of the sections features a giant world map showing where their ancestors came from, as well as a section called my heritage which shows the percentages of all your relationship lines; such as 20% Swedish, 35% percent and so on.

As the doctor and his wife finished up this section called, WHERE I CAME FROM, she looked at him in disgust and said, "I just spent a lot of money on a DNA test, and all I would have had to do is to come her to find out!"  I'm still chuckling over that!

Then, as they finished up the entire tour, she sort of poised her husband's arm and said, "I'm so glad you MADE me come here today!"

What a joyful place to BE!