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.


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.



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.


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.


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


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!



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!


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!



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!


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.



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!)


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.


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.


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!


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!