Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Youth Lesson

I'm not in a position to give a lesson to the youth in general right now.  But this is one I would like to give if I had a chance.

Think of someone in the whole world who has it harder than you.
Think of someone in America who has it harder than you.
Think of someone in this city who has it harder than you.
Think of someone in this room who has it harder than you.
Think of someone in your family who has it harder than you.

These are your talents.  What are you going to do with them.  Are you the unwise servant who can only think of 1 person who has it harder than you but sees no reason to do anything about it lest you diminish your own place in the pecking order?

I hate social media, of which this is sort of a social media.  Mostly my kids read it so this is a lesson for them.

What if you are a person who can answer a person for each of those prompts.  With 5 talents what will you take and change so that you can become aware of even more people who have it harder than you.

I see youth with phones staring at their screens for a variety of reasons.  I am glad to be free of the anxiety of hoping a message will come in, anything to escape from the awkward moment of talking to people.  The youth seem to think they are all the one being excluded and don't see how much they exclude each other.

I wonder if things would be different if we had sports teams.  I know that playing sports together as a young women's group really helped me feel close to all the girls.  Camp was great.  I don't feel like we bonded much in Seminary or during weekly activities, except the part where we were hanging out in the hall.  Temple trips helped us bond.  In giving kids social media we give them a curse of too much information about each other.  Our lives should not be open books ready for anyone to see our history and foolishness.  I've FB stalked plenty of people I had no business looking at their pictures and posts, but there they are for my curiosity. 

Savor your privacy and be more open to acting in a Christlike way.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Need nothing

Our water system hadn't been working for a few weeks, maybe more like months.  I don't know.  But it had become habit to fill up the drinking bottles.  Then on Thanksgiving it started working again.  It maybe even started working before that but I'd stopped checking.  Now that the water system is working our needs are down to 0.  There are things that will get repaired and items that will wear out.  I feel so grateful in this moment that we don't stand in want of anything.  Everyone is in good health.  Everyone has shoes, probably a coat, maybe socks, underwear check. 

I've been trying to use the MarieKondo method to look at my possessions and ask if this is bringing me joy.   You also have to ask if something is needful.  So far I have reduced my clothing stash and discarded an entire box of papers I didn't need to keep.  I also donated the 20 dinner plates we never use.  We like to use the 10 inch plates rather than the full dinner plates.  So it's time to let the dinner plates go.

Tonight in the middle of our history lesson I asked the kids about ~40 books on the shelf that nobody touches and only 4 were not claimed with joy.  I told the kids it was OK to let books be donated so another person can experience the joy of finding a book in the little free library.  I hope to repeat this with the children again and again to perhaps reach a goal of 10 books reduced from our cache.  One great thing of this exercise is reminding them of what good books we have and sparking their interest in reading them again.  Lately they've only been interested in library books which is great but why do we have 12 bookshelves of books if we aren't going to read them.

OK, I'm off to wash dishes which I can do now easier because I can use the dishwasher again.  Yay!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Empty Fridge

I love to have a mostly empty fridge.  Even with this much food there is possibility of some random leftover lurking.  I like to be able to see everything and do not like surprises.  The freezer is different but similarly I like to be able to see what's in there.  In the freezer a surprise is more likely to be a bag of frozen burritos you can cook for lunch.

Christmas is advancing upon us and I'm trying to be prepared.  We're a bit busy but by next week I hope to have things shipped and set.  Excitement and preparation. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017


 Pictures at the temple are something we try periodically.  I'm so glad our family has the chance to go and how P makes it such a fun outing so the kids love it too.

Nature Walk

Yesterday it had rained so much we were looking for something to do that the kids wouldn't get muddy doing.  The first nature trail we tried was flooded.  This one has a boardwalk for 90% of the 2 mile path.  It was beautiful and precarious because the past 2 hurricanes have lifted the board walk
This one has a boardwalk for 90% of the 2 mile path.  It was beautiful and precarious because the past 2 hurricanes have lifted the board walk and set it back on the pilong crooked in many places.
G and M enjoyed playing gate keeper and we all obliged by walking under them.
This vista was so beautiful I asked lP to take a picture with it to make it even more pretty.
 B is wearing some shoes G wore when he was 5.  It's so sweet to me to reuse and remember.

 G took this picture of us on a bench.  Along the way we saw a lot of piles that we imagined were bear scat.  Scary!  Even baby learned to say "Ew!" when he saw them.
 Actually baby was asleep most of the trip which was good since when he was awake he was spending a lot of time almost falling off the walk way.  We teased the kids that this was their big chance to do a Ninja obstacle course.  I'm glad nobody tried...
 At the end of the boardwalk there is a dock.  Unfortunately in this instance the hurricanes have floated a huge section of the boardwalk completely off the piling and they washed up a hundred feet away facing the perpendicular shore.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy family

I drew the tree and cut the leaves then lP took over the project.  She had the other kids suggest a few words, but she really spearheaded this project.
After we cleared the table we let the kids do the table slide.  The kids love this so much and we let them do it for 3 times each then put it away.

I'm so grateful for the personal finance class.  This week the foundation principle is to "Take Responsibility and Persevere".   We've been so blessed having this council with fellow saints and the scriptural focus on managing the blessings we've been given.

Stress Free Thanksgiving

P's family was driving over for Thanksgiving and bringing pies.  Hurray!  So our day played out like this and it was great:

8:00AM  Woke up and hung out with the kids then made German pancakes.
8:40AM Scriptures and prayer Mark chapter 8.
9:00AM Ate German Pancakes and started cleaning the house.
The kids did their school work and chores.
10:00AM  I put the turkey in an oven bag and put it in the oven.  I bought this turkey 2 week ago and put it straight in the fridge so it was actually thawed completely.  Yay!
10:30AM G washed and cut up potatoes and put them in a pot of water.
11:00AM M made dough with her awesome hands instead of using the mixer because.
11:30AM I cut up the lettuce and dressing for the salad.
12:00PM Ramen Lunch
We kept tidying the house and took turns on the computer.  It was raining all day so there was no opportunity for a playground or other outing.
 2:00PM The P family arrived and M was forming the rolls.  G turned on the stove to cook the potatoes.
2:30PM lP measured the ingredients for stuffing.  I took the turkey out of the oven.
3:00PM We cooked the stuffing and put the rolls in the oven.  I drained the potatoes and G mashed the potatoes.
3:30PM We started getting the table set and turkey carved.  B opened the giant can of peaches and I opened 2 cans of corn.  Grandma C put on a video chat with Aunt R.  P mixed up the BLT salad.
4:04PM we ate and ate and ate.  We watched an episode of "The Voyage of the Mimi" and "Macguyver- Trombo's World".  The P family brought pumpkin pie, blueberry pie and apple pie with plenty of whipped topping and ice cream.  It was great.

I'm so glad each of the children and P were so helpful today.  It was so nice.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


This week there were 3 memorial services at the church.  All of these good people had lived great lives and been well loved by family.  I'm glad I was able to attend.  It also gives you so much perspective on what matters in the short time we have. 

I love my family and I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Monday, November 6, 2017


I'm so grateful that I got to go on this trip with G.  I'm so grateful that P took the other children to a baptism.  And he surprised as we were paddling under US 1 with all the kids on the bank of the creek shouting happiness and love.

I'm grateful that I've been taking better care of my body so it was strong enough to do this trip.  That is a big motivator for me in eating better and exercising.  I want to be able to walk, run, swim, and even paddle with my kids. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Love on the rocks

My friend met up with us on Tuesday at the beach.  We wandered up V beach further than I ever had.  Looking at the houses completely undermined by the hurricane was humbling.

We also got back in our cars and drove down to the rocks to climb.  I love this spot.  I look forward to joining the kids and climbing around on the rocks myself in a few years.  L will be climbing too soon.  He already loves to join in the adventure.

Living the life

I've tried a few time to get on the list for a kayak trip offered by the county.  Last month I was able to get a spot in a tandem and it turned out that I got to choose who to bring.  We had just reached the point of leaving the children home for short stretches of time.  And we do have friends willing to watch the kids.  Then I wound up inviting G to come along.  It was so nice to go on this special outing with him. 

As we were getting into the boats I felt like I was on some great outing, like paddling the Colorado River!  But it was just something exciting here in my home town.  I'm so grateful that these opportunities are right here.  And I hope to take advantage of them more often.  We don't have to travel to have exciting and peaceful experiences.  It helps to live in a vacation town...  Yay!