Thursday, December 31, 2015

Week of December 28 - December 31, 2015


My ponderize scripture for the week is found in the Book of Mormon, 4th Nephi 1: 15-16
"And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
"And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumult, nor whoredoms, nor lying, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness, and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God."

I attended the early Wednesday morning session at the Phoenix Temple. It was 33 degrees when I left, but it's only a few minutes drive and the temple warmed my body and my heart as I entered. It was a wonderful session and then Dad came and we participated in sealing family members to their parents. We were also blessed to assist an elderly woman who had driven down from Prescott just to be sealed to her parents. It was such a spiritual experience and seeing her in tears as we left made it so worth it to be able to help! Dad attended his favorite Wednesday evening session, which was very full...very unusual. It's so nice to witness so many people spending their time off school and work doing service in the temple. I can only imagine how busy the baptistry must be!


The Wilkins Family
The Wilkins were blessed by a secret Santa. The kids were able to try out the new magic stain erasers on the hall walls to help Mom. They had a special New Years Eve planned.
The Ethan Rice Family
Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee stopped by after work on Monday evening. They brought Dad's gift that came in the mailand shared their pics and videos of Kaylee's birthday weekend. You know, she looked so happy! For a little one like Kaylee, her greatest joy seems to just be doing fun things with Mommy and Daddy! She skiied, rode a train, and drank hot cocoa and loved every minute!

The Doran Rice Family
The nicest thing about Christmas with little ones is that Christmas and enjoying their gifts last way past Christmas day. Here is the apron Ethan and Cameo got for Kooper
We saw Morgan on the freeway as we drove down to drop items off at Deseret Industries. He looked very happy.

Kayty wanted Morgan's favorite Chinese dish, Chicken Naisaiphun. Dad has wanted a sit down dinner with family. So, when Kayty got home from work, she got what she wanted and Dad got what he wanted. She had a good Monday.

Tuesday was her day to get her cast off, except that Cigna confused appointment locations and she drove to Scottsdale when she was supposed to be at Deer Valley. It ended up coming off on Wednesday.

She got some sale items to make a One Direction Christmas tree. She worked quite a few hours at work and had a good week there.

Saves this week: 1

The Nathan Rice Family
Nathan was able to spend Monday with one of his old missionary companions and eat some terrific Korean food with him. It's so nice that Facebook and email help people keep in touch so much better now. He came by on Tuesday and tried to machine parts for his greaser squeezer. Wednesday was spent packing up their belongings at Jessica's and Nate came by Wednesday night to pack up what could fit now and the rest packed in labeled boxes for later. It sure has been nice to have them here these last few months. We were able to snuggle and hug little Annalee, and it seemed like we could witness the fun of Nate. With his horrible headaches and getting married, after his mission, it was just not a great time. These months have been wonderful. We are happy they are getting to get back to school and move closer towards finishing school, but we sure will miss them!! I got to snuggle and kiss on Annalee while Nate worked in the garage and took a quick trip to Cabelas on Thursday
I did shed a tear or two when he and Annalee returned home. The first baby of a family is the only one a Grammy can hug and love on all she wants. When new babies come, I make sure the older child(children) don't feel put out by the new baby, so I pay most of my attention to them. I didn't get to love on Grace, or Josh, or Sam, or Kooper because I needed to make sure the older kiddos felt loved and special. It was a joy to have another first baby here!

Once married, the spouse is in charge of birthdays and birthday cakes, but I did try out one recipe, since Nate will be in Idaho and both he and Jess will be busy with school. It's a cocoa-less Mississippi Mud Cake...I refer to as a Fluffernutter Mud Cake
Final Fishing Tally for 2015
Cameo is the 2015 Champion with 24 fish caught!

Dad checked a few emails, but this is his last vacation week. He did have to sign a document saying that during furlough week, he touched no company property and did no work. They said an audit would be conducted of usage and if there is a discrepancy, termination would result. 
Love Honeywell...not. The lack of pay came just the week after Christmas. I feel sorry for those that spend a lot at Christmas and have half the money on the last week of the year!

Dad's Garden
Dad continues to harvest turnips and picked his first Napa Cabbage, which became chicken cabbage salad on Tuesday.He also picked chard, lettuce and a turnip to add to his salads. We added a new string to the snow pea plants on Wednesday, though the wind has made pretty much a mess of them.

Dad's Truck
Not much these last few days...

Other highlights
I got some really inexpensive Lincoln Logs at D.I. when we were there. More cabins will be in our future...miniature ones, that is.

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page. She took some time to reflect while her kids were outside playing. I thought I would take a moment. Now, mind you, I am not looking at a photo album, so the things I answer with might be just the more current things. I am older and I do need a mind jog every once in awhile.

Ten Highlights
Temple Attendance - Dad and I were able to do so much at our closer temple this year. I went 61 times and Dad went over 90 times. I doubt that another year like this will be repeated but I do hope we demonstrated our gratitude for this blessed temple.

As of this moment, I have six kids, four kids in law, and eight grandchildren all healthy and alive. I am so thankful for every bit of good health we are blessed with. I am so thankful for marriages that have survived another year. Marriage takes a lot of work. Family members face conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, headaches, etc. and we are still all blessed to be alive! Illnesses were not severe, injuries are healed/healing, few hospitalizations, and I know where everyone is! Even Beau is still hanging on!

Nathan and Jessica returned and brought Annalee into our family. It was so nice to have them in town, even though they both were busy with work and school. Annalee is such a blessing and we are thankful the Lord sent her to be part of our family. Nathan helped with Dad's truck, and getting me a new stainless steel larger refrigerator, plus there were great hunts and lots of science experiments.

Dad and I made it through a year of his temporary position at work, with many uncertainties and lot of time at home. He still has a job and made it through layoffs and a week of no pay. I cared for Kaylee another year and kept her safe and earned money for birthdays and Christmas for the family.

Family Campout was interesting but a good start to future campouts. Fishing was fun. The campsite was great. I now have a potty tent. I saw something this morning that said "Camping: Where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person."

Trips: Four great visits to Las Vegas, one to the Mogollon Rim. We didn't travel a lot but what we did was great!

Nano's 80th Birthday party brought ALL my kids, and only missing Michael for a family picture. I really will treasure that always!! I got reacquainted with my aunt and uncle, and everyone made great sacrifices to celebrate Nano's special day.

Holiday Celebrations were great. We enjoyed Valentine's dinner at Grandma's, Easter at Grandma's with many of Dee's family there, July 4th for me was great - at home in air conditioning watching fireworks, Thanksgiving at our house was super, Nano's new Christmas dinner came out great and she was very happy, and Christmas was superb! We also celebrated birthdays, and enjoyed Allison and Sharynn and family come over to swim when they were in town.

Dad's garden was great. I was able to can a years' supply of tomatoes and make tons of frozen roasted tomato sauce. He grew snow peas, lettuce, awesome carrots, turnips, a few grapes, citrus, lots of very hot peppers, kale, chard, napa cabbage. and key limes. Good garden year!

We were able to witness Adam receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained a deacon, the Primary Program of Adam, Grace, and Josh, and participate in the blessing of Annalee May Rice.

Ten Disappointments
Dad's truck not completed. It was "The Year of The Truck" and it's still not done. There are LOTS of parts to a vehicle...and lots of setbacks...and lots of learning when you are restoring a vehicle. Lots of learning has happened.

Wilkins will not be moving to Phoenix. Understandable, but still disappointing.

Grapevines: powdery mildew, whiteflies. Those pesky vines were a pain!

No major trips. We didn't go anywhere (outside our family visits and camping), see anything. We don't like staying away overnight but interesting day trips might be nice.

No new neighbors. The house next door is for sale. No one even looks at it. Nancy Springston's house has been for sale forever. No one looks at it. The neighbors south of us wave, and we haul their trashcans back from down the road for them, but it's like having no one for a neighbor.

Kayty had two car accidents. We are so thankful she only had the broken handbone, but that still goes on and the lawyer is involved in getting it settled...hopefully soon.She ended up having to get into more debt for the new car.

More termites. It's wonderful to get to visit with Eric, but not for termites! This time, they have eaten much of our front door jam. Dad will need to replace this next year.

Dad planned on exercising more to lose weight, but the truck and the garden took lots of his spare time. I had a higher A1C glucose level so I have to watch and not eat so many carbs, which is not fun. I have not been such a good girl the last few weeks.

Some of my holiday favorites didn't happen or seem gone for good. No movies like Elf, The Santa Claus, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life (though I DID see Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - plan is for July movies next year). No Christmas Baking. No Gingerbread Houses. No Grammy Day. Kids are just different now it seems and don't like a lot of these activities any more.

No weekly bread baking. I just don't have time, and most of the year, I had no oven.

Three Game Changers
Dad's truck. What was going to be just a couple of months involved extensive engine rebuilding, more figuring it out, purchasing parts, getting the wrong parts, purchasing more parts. Next year will involve selling those unused parts!

Nate and Jess...and Annalee...were home for awhile. Nate came by to help, to hunt, to load bullets, to mix caustic chemicals and try to copper plate. Dad moved the cabinet so a new fridge gotten at a discount could fit.

Dad's job. What we always thought he would just stay till retirement is not that way. We are not sure how long they will keep him and his fellow Supplier Development Engineers. We are now priortitizing differently: fixing up the house in case we have to sell it in the years to come, reassessing the year's supply, tightening our belts, etc. We are good now, but I want no surprises!

Three Things Focused On
Dad's Truck

Kaylee's Care - making caring for a two year old easier on me. I have gained so much confidence in myself this year and I enjoyed earning money, so when they decide it's time for Kaylee to go to the next growth step, with preschool and friends, I will get a part time job.

Church - 61 temple trips, over 7000 names indexed, still in the Stake Baptism Coordinator calling (kinda am looking forward to that ending someday. I just type the program and wash the clothing. Its a great help to the stake and the families involved, but not very fulfilling for me at this time.), scripture study (I read the Old and New Testaments, The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, and the Book of Mormon numerous times,) plus all Ensign Magazines and watched all sessions of General Conference.

Three Things Forgotten
Grammy Stockings. I had a goal of completing two, but only got Annalee's completed. I would like to have two ready to put a name on.

The stuff in the music room and attic. We need to get rid of lots of our junk! I would sure like a separate room for supplies or just to hibernate in. The music room is just full of stuff!! I am a good tosser...Dad is not. I want to dump stuff in the trash! Don't worry, kids, nothing of yours has been...or probably ever will be... tossed or moved.

Extended family gatherings. This is a good thing. Dad's sisters have unfriended him on facebook, for the most part. They have "sister trips" that include neither him nor me. It's good and we are so glad that we just have to be together at Easter!

 I consider a year we are all alive to be a great year! I consider a year where everyone who wants a job has a job to be a great year. We were extra blessed with Ethan's promotion. Amber and Doran were blessed to find great daycare for Kooper finally. Adam, Grace, Josh and Kelsie all attend great schools and Josh LOVES school! Those who are still working where they started the year really like their jobs and are doing well. Those in college are doing well too. It took me hours to get the ten disappointments. It took me awhile to get the game changers as well. We all seem to just adjust our course without much drama. I am so thankful for that! Above all else, I try to remember that no pain or sadness or disappointment lasts forever. Tomorrow is a new day. Most of the saddest feelings pass with time. Time does heal. Hope does spring eternal.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week of December 21 - 27, 2015

My ponderize scripture for the week is found in Doctrine and Covenants 66: 2
"Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old."

Dad attended the temple session on Wednesday evening and afterward, had an enjoyable visit with President Gilliland. It is just such a blessing to have a temple president that is so visible. There has not been an early Wednesday morning that a member of the presidency has not greeted me and held the door for me as I have arrived. They are wonderful men, and their wives serve alongside them and are wonderful as well.

The January Ensign Magazine arrived and that was my scripture reading as soon as it came. I also am on Mosiah 19. Dad continues reading the Book of Mormon and has been thoroughly enjoying reading The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt.

My total number of names/records indexed in 2015 was 7121. I started with a much smaller goal, and then just kept adding. What was amazing to me was that, as I worked on so many hand written records, the previously scribble-looking names would become easier and easier as I indexed each record. I feel truly blessed to witness the Lord's hand in making these records digitally available to any who want to seek information about their ancestors. 

The Wilkins Family
The Wilkins family has been enjoying their time off school. Their home teacher treated them to a Polar Express train ride. Christmas was wonderful...until a stomach bug took some of them out for a time. Oh, the joys of Christmas! Hope all feel better and get to enjoy their time together this week.

The Ethan Rice Family
 Ethan, Cameo, and Kaylee planned to attend a Living Nativity after work on Monday, but Kaylee fell asleep as soon as she drove away from Grammy's house, and wouldn't wake up. Christmas was wonderful for this family as well. Saturday, Kaylee's third birthday was celebrated with a very special trip. They headed to Flagstaff on Christmas night and stayed in a cabin.

They had breakfast, headed to frosty cold Snow Bowl, and skied on Saturday,

Pretty awesome 3rd birthday, huh!

 They rode the Polar Express on the Grand Canyon Railroad. Later, she told her mommy that "It was the best birthday ever!" I surely bet it was!

Sunday night, Ethan called and we Facetimed and I saw Kaylee open her last few stocking gifts. Thank you so much, Ethan!!

The Doran Rice Family
It was a busy few work days for Amber and Doran. They had a new dog find their safe home on Wednesday night, so their canine total is now 7. I saw these on Facebook on Christmas Eve
Amber had a pet adoption event on Saturday, so the rest of the family just recovered from all the fun!

Morgan worked moving things this week. It was nice to see him on Christmas Eve and have him with us on Christmas Day.

 Kayty headed to another viewing of Star Wars on Monday. She likes it more and more each time she sees it. I am glad she has told us a lot so we won't mind waiting till the DVD is released.
And again

She got MORE shoes! I cannot figure out this girl!
 She enjoyed her Christmas gifts. Now, don't think I had any clue what this stuff was. I told her to fill my Amazon shopping cart with things she wanted and I would select according to budget and then take the rest out of my card.

My saving score for this week was 4. We are trying to figure out what is going on with her glucose levels and why she keeps going low in the early morning hours. I am so grateful for thoughts. On Sunday, I just thought I should see if she was working, and she sat up and said she was, but couldn't tell me what time. I checked her glucose...50! She was conscious enough to eat Tootsies, but I grabbed the soda anyway. Thank goodness for that prompting as well, because seizures started. I was getting her to drink and she was chewing tootsie rolls. The seizures would come and go, and it was hard to figure if her glucose was high enough to just let her eat...and then I made a face and she had that glare at me, so I knew she was ok. I have learned that promptings from the Lord are not always clear, but if you feel like you should, or an idea pops into your mind...act on it! Never postpone a prompting!

The Nathan Rice Family
 Nate was here for hours on Monday afternoon/evening, fixed the machinery that wasn't working and cutting properly, and got new wood cut and laminated ready for more work on it.He and Annalee were here on Tuesday and he got much of his project done.

 Lots of sanding completed it on Wednesday night.

To think this was a log a few days ago!

The Hudson Family celebrated their Christmas on Christmas Eve with a standing rib roast and other wonderful food, and family.

The day after Christmas, he was an awesome help to Dad with the truck. It was cold and windy but he still has some of that Idaho blood in him and worked and climbed in the attic and located parts that had been painted and stored a long time ago. He and dad also picked up quite a bit of brass in the desert that they can reload for future target shooting.

Nathan, Jessica and Annalee came by on Sunday night and we watched "The Sound of Music" and ate some fresh homemade cookies. It was an awesome "Birthday in December" for me!

 Dad had to put in for his last weeks of vacation. He then spent time completing the only woodworking projects for the year. Ethan requested Kaylee's Christmas money be used to build an easel...

And an addition to the nativity he made for Grandma a couple of years ago
Nathan polished the brass "crowns" dad had machined. These were made from an olive wood log that Nate also helped chainsaw down to usable size.

Kaylee and I spent hours and hours outdoors this week.

She did decorate a Christmas tree.

We tried a Polar Express activity on Tuesday:

decorating a liner for a hot chocolate cup
painting a train bank

We read "Mortimer's Christmas Manger", colored our own mouse ears, played with the nativity and made straw for Baby Jesus on Wednesday.

We spent hours all week just playing outdoors: kicking the beach ball, sliding, swinging, running, jumping, strolling to look at the neighbors' Christmas decorations and enjoying cloudy and cool weather!

Dad's Truck
Dad got time on Thursday to work on attaching the rubber pieces to the fender wells. He needed more screws, so we headed out Saturday to pick those up. With Nate's help, he got a lot done.
Dad's Garden
We had mild weather and a few sprinkles so his garden enjoyed the week. We looked at the covered tomato plants and decided that, since the tops of the plants froze a week ago, and he is near Spring planting, no further efforts would be given to these tomatoes. Sometimes, it's just more sensible to start new. He continues to pick and eat turnips and we have still more key limes to squeeze. Tangerines have been very good and the oranges are just about getting ready to taste yummy.

Other Highlights
 Wade and Dad FINISHED my hut expansion Monday. All roofed, caulked and sealed up. It will be refilled with Christmas decorations beginning December 26, and my village will fill up the new area the next week off.

 Dad, Nate and Jessica went target shooting on Saturday morning. Jessica wanted to become more comfortable with her gun, and Dad and Nate were having fun...and picking up other shooters' brass to reload. They worked on Dad's truck

And went back at the end of the day for more brass.

I hit the stores early for day after Christmas shopping. Lots of walking back and forth to price scanners for checking. Irritating WalMart with NO cashiers working while three supervisors stand at their little desk on wheels chatting.

Not so highlights
I don't know if it's not such a "not so highlight" , but Nate and Dad complained everytime they came in the house on Saturday, since the Christmas decorations began to come down. Its a TON of work and takes quite awhile, so I must do it on my week off. Anyway,  i am not taking down the village for a couple of weeks, so there will be something to enjoy.

Beau has been having troubles the last few weeks. We thought it might be an injury. He seemed better, but stopped eating. Not so sure how long he will last. He is an older dog.