2018 - What a RIDE!

2018 was a year filled!

We finished our third mission, went thru the Panama Canal, went on a home exchange to Oregon, visited our kids in Virginia, saw our grandson in the lead in a play, had some challenging news, and we are still going strong.

I'm so grateful for our many blessings.  And, the year ended on an exceedingly high note with the wedding of Landon Fisher to Halsey Anderson of Eagle, Idaho:

It was a grand event, even tho it was freezing outside of the Meridian Temple.  She's a wonderful girl from a marvelous family and we couldn't be more pleased.

Jenni, as usual, pulled off a magnificent luncheon event that was staged and feted beautifully.  She pulled off a surprise for her dad when her family sang a song he had written for Halsey and Landon.  It truly was a perfect day.

And, a great way to end 2018.

Here's to 2019!


The GRAND part of Mothering!

It's a Saturday afternoon a couple of days before Christmas.  Evan is visiting from Houston, Texas.

Grandparents and Parents need a movie break.

In steps GIGI (Great Grandmother) to the rescue!

And, what a delightful rescue it was.

Evan is smart, happy, obedient, delightful, fun; just what a person would want in a child.

We had a great time together and I realized the true rewards of parenting are being a GRANDparent, or GREAT grandparent.

That's JOY, for sure.


The Lost Art of Gratitude

For several years, I visited Sylvia Seegmiller on a regular basis at her home.  When she went to the care facility, RAH and I visited her every Thursday on our way home from our mission at the LDS Employment Center.

She was so appreciative and always most grateful.

Some friends and I took her to the temple when she felt like going...always giving thanks when we were done.  RAH and I took her to her favorite root beer stand to get her a diet Pepsi with ice.  She loved it and was so grateful.

I saw in her something that is dying in the world around me.


Sometimes I visit a friend who is lonely; she never says thanks; I give little gifts to a couple who have no one around, they don't say anything; I have tended children and the parents seem to take it as a given; I make an effort to visit a lady who has problems, she takes it in her stride.

I don't expect big hooplas or bells clanging or fireworks, but a very simple THANK YOU would be so nice.

It always makes me wonder about myself in years past.

And, maybe, just maybe, I am getting in return what I dished out in the past.

If that is really the case, I will just say here.


My Parents,
My Family,
My Friends,
My Neighbors,
Anyone who has touched me in a positive way.



It's a Wrap!

I've done it several years.

It's a great gig and it's fun and it's service to the community.

I can't imagine the work that goes in to preparing this event.  This year, 650 families (children) will be gifted with wonderful items of shoes, pants, coats, and toys.  

This year, Allen joined me for the Kony Koins for Kids Wrapping Project.  It was fun!

Loretta and Mike joined in the fun this year.  I'm always amazed at the goodness and generosity of people; their time and their money.  So many good people in the world.


The SingAlong - 2018

Just the children sang Away in a Manger for us.  What beautiful voices they all have!
They were so willing to go along with this unrehearsed singing.

It has been several years since we had the traditional Christmas Sing A long, but RAH decided to do it this year.

So, he spent many hours preparing music on his new GENOS keyboard.

Last night, we invited a few neighbors and a couple of family members over to just sit around and SING the songs of the season.

It was wonderful and fun and eventful.

Music, friends, and family....a perfect COMBINATION to enjoy the season of LIGHT!


On Leaving the Church

Recently, a friend of mine confided in me that if she were ever to leave the church, it would be because of the temple commitment to follow the husband's counsel.

She told me that he does not make good decisions and he is very stingy with money.  She is always eager to share with her family and he does not go along with that.

It is a sore spot for them, and for her especially.

I think about that situation some times.

Would that be worth leaving the church for?  Absolutely NOT!

But, it is a dilemma indeed.

She told me she has done financial things in secret, but does not feel right about that at all.

So, what is she to do?  I have no answer, but this:


Surely a compromise could be worked out somehow.

AH, living with others is not always easy, but it's so much better than being alone!


Hyrum Smith

A week ago, RAH and I went to a lecture.

I'll just say this; it was FANTASTIC!

The speaker was Hyrum Smith, who founded Tuacahn and who worked with Steven Covey in establishing Franklin Planner.

He is a motivational speaker and it's easy to see why; he was funny, told great inspiring stories, and was just good to hear.

He told a remarkable story about when he was a 14 year old Scout leader and took them to Hawaii; it was just an incredible story.  But, one thing he told them was they had to memorize these three lines

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Anyway, I've memorized that and just keep reviewing it...it's very inspiring, as was his talk.

Oh, people can give such good talks, and I'm grateful when I get to hear one.




Sometimes life throws a curve ball.

I think some families get by without too many of those, but for me....it's thrown me plenty.


I got thrown two curve balls in the last week; they bowled me under good.

Now, my challenge is to pick up and move forward...

With FAITH and HOPE.

Yikes, that's hard for me, but here I go...one day at a time.


The Clothes Ladies....a Study in Two Opposites

A year ago or so, I received a text from Louise.  She said that her friend was going to come over with her little trailer that she had converted into a portable clothes, accessories, shoes, boot, tops, pants and dress shop.

So, to support Louise, I stopped by to see this adorable little trailer converted to a mini clothing shop on wheels.

There were a lot of items for sale in this teeny little space, and lots of neighbors dropped by, like me, to support Louise and her friend.  I didn't know the lady at all, but while I was looking around inside, she was telling a couple of ladies that in the previous month, she personally had spent over $2,000.00 on herself for clothing.  She had realized that was a lot, so she was going to try to sell clothing to make her purchases cheaper.  So, she and her husband had bought this little travel trailer, spent ten thousand dollars to convert it into a store, and was now in business.

I listened to that tale - stunned.  TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS IN ONE MONTH ON CLOTHING!    That's my entire budget for one month.....it was ludicrous.

Now, for the exact opposite.

My sister-in-law Shauna and I were walking to a play one beautiful Saturday afternoon, and I said, "I love those black pants you have on...they are very nice-looking!"  She laughed and said they had come from the Aunt Gerry bags which are clothes that our aunt would give to Shauna occasionally.

Then she added this statement, "I bet I have not spent over $100.00 in clothing in my married life."  (45 years!)  I was stunned!  Unbelievable.  Many people have donated clothing to her over the years and that is basically all she wears.

She did tell me that she does buy shoes.

She also added that the only thing she spends almost any money on is things for her grandchildren, which she buys at dollar stores or second-hand stores usually!

So, there you have it...two styles; two women.

Both intriguing; both extremes.


A Visit From the Gees

Seven children...

All wonderful....

All so happy and all so very good and delightful.

Nathaniel and Jeanine raise them well.

And, even though, after they leave, I need to catch my breath, and rest a minute, I adore these marvelous children.  This is just what the church wants in raising a family.  They have FHE, read their scriptures, sing songs, help each other, have fun, and smile a lot.

I didn't get their picture this time, but I did get one picture of Annabelle who always makes me smile.
IT's hard to see, but she drew a cat on the Boogie Board.  In the background, you must barely see Nathaniel, who is trying to read a book and a couple his other kids.  Little Eliza and maybe Emily.

Such a marvelous family...such a JOY to be around!  Always.

Their cousins are great also.  Here's a picture taken on the Sunday of General Conference when all 11 of the kids were around:  Now that was crazy time.  But so much FUN!

Grant, aven, Hyrum showing his card tricks, Emma, Adaline, Annabelle, and Marriner.
But, where are the other five?  HA HA.


What's In a Dream?

..or in other words,

Where is Biblical Joseph when I need him?

Honestly, I have such strange dreams sometimes....it's just rather unsettling.

I think I know the meaning of some of them.

Like, last night, I dreamed we were packing up from a big camping trip or something, and I really needed to use the restroom, but when I went to use it, the lady owner of the property had literally picked up the toilet, and was hauling it away.  I'd never seen someone just pick up a real toilet and carry it in her arms.  But, the meaning of that is very clear....I needed to use the restroom...quite badly.  HA HA.

But, I've also dreamed about my mother quite a lot lately, and I don't help her when she is clearly needing help.  I was up feeling so very sad.

I wonder what meaning dreams have....

Are they just random?

Do they have a deep psychological meaning?

What do you think, Joseph, up in heaven?



Which means I LOVE being with my brothers and their wives.
It's a laugh a minute and such a wonderfully fun adventure.

We did sealings in the Provo City Center Temple.  It's the first time we have all been in the temple together for a very long time, and it was a wonderful experience to share with my husband, siblings and spouses.
What a wonderful family; I'm so blessed!

This year Shauna got us tickets to the Scarlet Pimpernel; it just moved up into first place on my list of musical theatre.  I can't even begin to describe how delightful, fun, clever, witty this production was.  The costumes, the scenery and the singing were beyond compare!  Broadway couldn't do this any better!
Oh, what fun!

WE just go, go, go until we are all exhausted!

And, of course, there's always FOOD involved.

We had to stop at Sundance and get some Jackson Hole many flavors of soda.
And, of course, Cafe Rio.
I gained weight, in spite of my efforts to not do so.
But, it's always just so FUN!

Until next year, then, dear brothers......


To Brag or Not To Brag

I don't remember a lot of advise my dear mother gave me, but she often said it was not polite to brag about one's children.

For some reason, that stuck with me.

And, because she was my dear mother and I believed her, it has been very difficult for me to ever brag about our children.

I see that as a HUGE error.  And, I certainly don't blame my mother, who raised three of the most remarkable sons ever, but I think it is a mistake to say bragging is not appropriate.

I visit quite a few people in our neighborhood; they brag on their children - constantly, incessantly.

And, their children are wonderful, good people.

They know their parents are proud, as they should be.

Some over brag.  Some are hard to listen to.  But, bragging comes so naturally to them.

Sometimes, I think in the middle of a conversation - here's where I should say something about MY OWN CHILD.  Here's Where I should insert something really great about what my child or grandchild has done.

The words don't come out.  IF, it does, I immediately feel like I've done something horribly wrong.

IT's sort of crazy and a psychosis of sorts, I fear.

I love our children; I'm so proud of their achievements and their accomplishments.  I'm proud of the kind of people they have become; they are high achievers.  Good, Kind, Thoughtful, Hard-working.

I'm so proud of them.

Maybe some day, I'll be able to share that with others.



IT's hard to explain what is happening in America right now....

It's bitter...

It's ugly....

It's so divisive.....

I'm literally torn apart by what is happening, and it doesn't even personally involve me.

But, it involves the country I love; the America that has a schism right down the middle; and for some reason, I feel it personally.  It has never been so ugly or hateful or horrid as it is right now in AMERICA.

It's men against women, Republicans against Democrats, Right against Left, she said against he said; it's left me in a huge turmoil.

And, it has split RAH and me.

I feel helpless and often hopeless.

How did the country get to be in such an ugly mess as this is right now?

And, more importantly, how will we heal?

She was a credible witness; believable, honest, calm, well-spoken.

He was a belligerent, bellicose witness; but, as RAH says, his very name and character have been totally dragged through the mud.

Oh, it is so horrific.

And, I am SAD!


A Story About Nails....

Finger nails, that is.....

Three of my close friends get their nails done on a regular basis.

They always look so classy and well kept.

Now, I've had my fingernails done before, but it was a couple of years ago, and I forgot something.


I can't type, open things, etc.

Plus they drive me a little crazy; in fact, this sounds crazy, but I get claustrophobia with them on!

But, I forgot all that.

So a week ago, I went to get my nails done - French tips.


Oh, they looked so lovely.

But, the first day, they hurt.....

The second day they were annoying, and they just got even more so.

So, last night, I clipped them off.

Man, does it feel good to have my almost-regular fingernails back.  
Now, I just have to remember.



Is Anyone Out There Even Listening

Aren't they so classy?  She dresses like a million bucks; he always looks so handsome...they are so faithful and wonderful. The night I went to visit they had the Ensign, Church News, Book of Mormon, and the new book Saints on their coffee table; they are reading them all.....just inspiring, right?!?!?!

Harlan and Doris are wonderful.  He is 94, but I don't know how old she is.

He has had 8 strokes or more.  She has faithfully tended to him through them all.

'They are delightful to visit, which I have done on a number of occasions, including last Thursday.

The stories they told were poignant, sorrowful, funny, delightful, interesting, and it was a delight to be with them.

They told about a car Harland just went out and bought without consulting Doris; and a house where he did the same thing!  Oh my goodness; RAH, don't even think about it!  I left being totally uplifted and inspired and happy.

On Sunday, Doris came up to me, and whispered in my ear:  "Loni, thank you for coming to visit us; it meant so much to Harlan and to me.  After you left, we realized that you had JUST LISTENED.  You hadn't said anything about YOU!"

I wonder why we are all so eager to speak about US, and to not listen to the amazing unique stories of those around us?

WHY would I visit the Hancock's to hear stories about ME, when it is they I wish to know.

It's easy for me to listen.  Hard for me to talk.

And, over the years, I have learned some wonderful stories about others as I relax and


Bad Language and Other things of a Modern Era

I love to read.

I practically devour books...

I read during the commercials on television....

I read in the car, although RAH tells me to sit up and look around and see the great big wide world.

I read at the dinner table, at night, on the couch, in the bed, on the hammock, but I've never read in the shower...YET!

I also listen to books on Audible.

BUT, and it's a great big BUT....

I abhor how modern writers feel they have to throw in these things:




What is going on here?

Great stories inundated with "STUFF" that doesn't make a difference to the characters, plot, setting, dynamics, etc.

I wish books had a rating system like movies do.  If so, then I wouldn't even start a book that has objectionable material.

I'm not a prude, either, I just don't need that stuff in my life.

Maybe that is one reason I read so much Dickens.

Just good writing with no bad language.


No One to Share With...

Many years ago, when I would visit my parents in Salt Lake City, they would often go into their tv room and watch a couple of old British comedies.

One that I watched with them on occasions was called;


I really enjoyed that show.  Clean, clever, and about an English barrister; what's not to like?

It was not available where I lived, so the only time I saw it was at my parents' home, and that was rare.  I once paid an enormous amount of money to buy the entire set of DVDS, but I found them at that time, very dull and boring.

But, many years later, in a used bookstore, I saw a book about Rumpole of the Bailey.  I quickly snatched it up, and since then have bought almost all of them.  I used to devour them.

My personal library of RUMPOLE books.  The yellow one called RUMPOLE OMNIBUS was the first one I bought and I read it the winter we were staying in Sun City, Arizona.  It saved me from boredom.  I cannot even begin to explain my love affair with these obscure books.

However, my favorite way now to enjoy Rumpole is on AUDIBLE Books.  I listen as I run errands and drive around town.

Many, many times, I am literally laughing out loud as I sit in my car.  They are so clever and so very witty and funny.  I adore RUMPOLE as a person, even if he is fiction.

But, the problem is; there is no one to talk about these books with.  No one else would enjoy them like I do.

Often, my cousin or friends share books that we insist are MUST READS, but I've never shared or told them about RUMPOLE books.  You see, they just wouldn't GET IT.

It's a have-to-have-been-there-in-the-den-with-my-parents kind of thing.

So, I'll finally get to the end of all the Rumpole books John Mortimer wrote; I'll be sad, and some I will re-listen to, but it's going to be a sad good-bye when I've run out of Rumpole books.

Dad, thanks for introducing me To Horace Rumpole; he's been a good friend, although a lonely one.


The Book That Wasn't


A great book, great movie....



Great books....I literally laugh out loud so often...


So, the question is.....




Remake the author's great work into something it isn't even close to?

I can't figure it out.

Surely Hollywood is not that desperate.

I just want the original, thank you very much!


JOYFUL Moments from a Letter to the Family!

There are many reasons I wish we lived closer, but this weekend was one of those unique reasons.

Bridger went thru the SanDiego Temple with Jeremy, Carisa, Allen and Loni.

Afterwards, we ate dinner in the cafeteria and then the Jeremy Hackworth clan went to do a service project at  a nursing home.  Saturday night, Jeremy, Bridger, and I went MISSIONARY SHOPPING:  Shoes, pants, socks, and a couple of ties.  Do any of you remember those days of shopping.  Unfortunately, San Diego doesn’t have a MR. MAC where there are all things missionary.  HA HA HA HA.  So we hit Nordstrom Rack…...

SUNDAY was another highlight;

Both Jeremy and Bridger spoke in their old ward; I enjoyed seeing a few of the people we knew, but the highlight was definitely their talks.  Oh, how I wish the siblings and cousins could have heard these two marvelous and inspiring talks.

Jeremy talked about challenges in our lives; saying we all have them, but we have the GOSPEL and the SAVIOUR to help us thru.  He told several inspiring stories asking us, DO WE EVEN KNOW WHAT WE REALLY HAVE?  His talk was powerful and so inspiring.  (He would make a good high councilman, if they are chosen by giving good talks.)

Then Bridger talked.  His talk was so sincere and so very personal.  He had been asked to talk about his preparation for a mission.  He was very honest.  A mission was not always a sure thing for him, but several events in his life helped him understand that it was the right thing for him to do.  He told about when they first moved to Coronado, and Jeremy signed them up for a Scout camping trip.  Bridger and Oscar were NOT happy to have to go.  AND, they had to ride with the weird guy in the ward…Brother Merrill.  Here’s the thing, both Bridger and Oscar came to love Brother Merrill and his jokes and his personality.  

Another story he told was such a great example to me of a tender mercy from the Lord.  Bridger was in Santa Cruz living in the dorm.  No car.  No way to get to church.  Not knowing anyone in the church in this town 8 hours from home.  AUSTEN GEE was living close to Santa Cruz, and I called and asked if he would take Bridger to church that first Sunday of the school year.  Which Austen did.  But, Bridger said in his talk, that was Austen’s last day living in that city.  He moved away.  Bridger was on his own.  But, people at the church made arrangements for him to be picked up each week to attend his little single’s branch. What a great blessing…..

 Bridger concluded by bearing this testimony saying he knows the church is true, but, he said, with the scriptures and the doctrine; the thing about the church is  that LOVE that is there.  (“m not saying it the way he did, it was so beautiful!)

Both talks were so profound, so true, and so remarkable.

Wish you all could have been there.

Then everyone had to hurry off to another ward because Carisa and Jeremy were speaking in another Sacrament meeting, which we didn’t get to hear, sad to say; they were speaking about service, I think and Just Serve.org.  

Bridger leaves soon; he will be a great missionary.  He will follow in the tradition of his two grandfathers, father, uncles, and three Fisher cousins…..

Three Generations of Hackworth Missionaries;
Allen - Great Lakes; Bridger - Salt Lake West; Jeremy - Puerto Rico

Please make a commitment to send him your love often……

I LOVED BEING THERE, just as I love being at all family events.  FAMILY is such a great blessing!

With great love, Loni


The Irony of It All

RAH and I just signed up for a class on

THE EARLY HISTORY OF ISRAEL, which is being taught by a lady Jewish Rabbi.

I could hardly wait as I truly want to understand the history of the Middle East.

However, as smart as she is, she is disorganized, scatter-brained, and just not a good teacher.  It's hard to follow her and she wanders all over the place constantly saying, "I'll get back to that later."

But, that is not the point of this post.

The Rabbi signed an agreement to never talk about the Jewish history as a religious entity; she is not to talk about religion or prostelitize in any way.

Everyone in the class is over 55.  We are adults.  I WANT to hear the Jewish history in terms of religion.

The IRONY for me is that all over the US, liberal professors can destroy the faith of naive, beautiful young college Freshmen telling them there is no GOD, law is not important, America is a piece of crap, etc.

But, in a class of old people, who have pretty much made up their minds about religion and the direction of our lives, the rabbi cannot talk about religious matters.....WHAT is that all about?

Is the university afraid one of us might convert to Judaism at this point in our lives, and if we do, why should the university care?

It just seems so ludicrous to me, that we over 55 can't hear about religion, but the young peoples' ideologies can be destroyed by a super liberal atheist spouting off his beliefs in the comfort of his classroom, NO MATTER WHAT HIS SUBJECT MATTER IS.

Something is definitely WORNG with this picture.


Yakety Yak!

And on it goes, over and over.

When will it ever stop?

I'm afraid it will be like this forever.

And, it's hard to have to listen.

For future years, in case I forget who I am even talking about;

It's a dear friend and neighbor, but EVERY conversation ends up being about HER....it gets very tiring after being with her for awhile.  

She's a good good person, but she has a need that is overpowering to be the centre of attention at all times in every situation.  I don't get it.

But - there it is..

Yakety Yak!


Remembering Alonzo Jansen

Saturday morning was our turn to help clean the church.

I was happy to do so...it had been about two years since we had done it because until this morning, we have had four wards in our building.

The last time we did it, Doris Hancock was there helping...she was in her 80's and it reminded me that our church gives opportunities to serve, no matter what our age.

Only 6 people showed up to help, so we were there for quite awhile.  Our building is LARGE.  I've been to Churches in our faith that are small and it wouldn't take very long to clean, but ours has a lot of classrooms and long halls and big chapel, three bathrooms, etc.  So, the six of us worked hard to get the entire building cleaned and ready for Sunday.

While I was vacuuming, I thought many times of the custodian in our ward in Rexburg, Idaho.  Alonzo Jansen.  It made me realize what a big job it is to keep a church clean.  It also made me hope that I had helped to keep it clean by cleaning up after my family when we ate Cheerios, pizza, and other items in the chapel or elsewhere.  When I taught Primary, did I have the class clean up after?  When I was in Young Women, did I teach them it was OUR responsibility to clean up after ourselves when we left?  Probably not, and I don't like knowing that about me!

I know that I take more responsibility for keeping the church clean now that WE THE PEOPLE are the ones doing the cleaning.  But, I don't think I felt that way all those years ago.  "Let someone else do it," is probably what I reasoned.  And that is so wrong in every instance; church, school, car, home, buildings.  It REALLY IS my responsibility.

I used to think that Brother Janson was overprotective about the building, but now I get it.  Gum in the classroom carpet, milk spilled on the pews, red punch in the hallway; it just doesn't come out!  It's not our building to show such disrespect.  Bother Janson was a good man, with a large family and he deserved my respect and the respect of my family for the wonderful job he did over the years.  I wish I could tell him that now.

But, what I can do now, is twofold.  Be a better steward to any building, home, car, office, that I enter.  And, secondly, be appreciative to those who do the cleaning; janitors, cleaners, etc.

Yes, I'm grateful I helped clean the church, and it's a good reminder that I need to be aware of picking up, cleaning up, not messing up wherever I go!


MINI Tender Mercy

It's so incredibly HOT in this town!

The heat is relentless and is continuing for a very long time...unfortunately.

So, it makes air conditioning a MUST HAVE.

And, good cool clothing.

This morning, I went to the temple to do some sealings.  I always enjoy that, but the room was so sweltering hot.

Also, my dress is polyester and it would be hard to find a fabric more unsuitable for hot weather.  Add to that the fact that I usually wear my gym white shirt underneath, as I usually go to the gym immediately afterwards.  So, in other words, my clothing is HOT!

I had 6 names to do.  But, in the room, they asked if I would help with a handful of other names needing sealings.  Well of course.

I was so glad when it was over, BUT THEN....the gentleman at the sealing desk asked if I had some time to do some more sealings where another woman was needed.  I agreed.

By then, I was sheltering hot on the 3rd floor of the temple....I walked in to a different sealing room, and was feeling pretty uncomfortable and miserable, when I realized there was air flowing; cooling air; it was so remarkable because the first room had been absolutely stifling.  Now, however, there was a small draft of air flowing thru.  It felt so very good.  I said a silent prayer of thanks, and then did the other names.

And, I felt grateful for that cooling air in a wonderful setting.

It also reminded me, again, of the marvelous people who have come before me with no air conditioning - EVER - how did they survive?

I have much to be grateful for on this lovely Friday morning!


Patriotic HYMNS....No MORE?!?!?!?!?!?!

Miles Scott Hackworth was ordained a deacon on July 1, 2018.  He had a lot of people come to support him, which was such a great blessing.  Including Jenni and Brent, who got up at 4 to get there for 9 am church services.  It was a great day.
And, I'm so thankful for family!

Yesterday, in a wonderful Sacrament meeting in Provo, Utah, the opening song was, "The Star Spangled Banner." 

As we all stood to sing this beautiful patriotic song, I was getting all goose-bumpy, and my son whispered, "I wonder if this song will be in the new hymn book?" That took me back for a moment. 

No, it isn't likely, because the whole idea of a new hymn book is to make it more world centered. 

When would I ever get the chance to sing those beloved American songs if not in church? 

The closing hymn was Battle Hymn of the Republic and again, it aroused my feelings of patriotism, love of God and Country. In my lifetime, about the only times those songs have been sung by me is in church, and I have loved that.

 It's possible that the singing of American songs is over in our church. But, it's all okay....going world wide with hymns is healing and wonderful and inclusive. 

HA, it makes me even more thankful for Alexa. So, sing away, Alexa; with all my favorite patriotic hymns, and I'll belt them out right along with you! 

Also, let me just say right now....there are a lot of problems, but I LOVE AMERICA!


Weekend in Coronado

No wonder it costs so much money;

It's a perfect place to live.

Or VISIT....

Which we did when Sayre got the Aaronic Priesthood.

And, it was great to be a part of it.....

Lemon Tree Very Pretty - especially with ALLEN and SAYRE just before church!

He was so excited to become a deacon.  So proud of him for wanting this!

Loving Grandson, Sayre; handsome Grandfather, Allen

Sayre wanted to walk downtown to get some Candy on Saturday morning,
so we had a great chat as we walked home from Orange Avenue.
Just a little while before he got a new haircut.....
He was pretty surprised when it was cut so short, but thankfully, he said, it will grow back!

The plants are Coronado are just stunning.  Every year, every street is filled with great beauty!

Kaeylyn went thrifting and found these funky shoes at the thrift store.  I love that she would be willing to wear these!


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.


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.


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


Okay, so, can I?


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.


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.

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!


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


TODAY is....


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:



It's the Simple Things!

Today, Allen and I had a date.

We went grocery shopping at Smith's Market Place.

It was fun.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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!



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


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.

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...