Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week of June 29 - July 5, 2015


 Sadly, we ended our week with news that another Apostle, Boyd K. Packer, passed away on July 3.
I always loved listening and reading Boyd K. Packer talks. He never ever left you wondering just where he stood on any issue, and especially the tough issues. His last General Conference talk was physically not as powerful as he once was, but I felt the Spirit witness to me of the truth of his words, and when I read that talk a few days later, I was so in awe that a man with so many physical limitations could share such a strong gospel message, with no mincing of words. One of his most recent quotes:
“The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed for eternity.”
I am thankful for the knowledge of the Plan of Happiness and that he is blessed with family, loved ones, and even more work to do on the other side of the Veil. 

I started my Tuesday and Wednesday with a wonderful session at the Phoenix temple. I walked in at 7am Tuesday with a group of youth who were there to do baptismal work. The session I was in was more full than it has ever been. On Wednesday, I was getting ready and grabbed the HOT end of the curling iron by mistake! I quickly put my fingers in cold water, grabbed bandages for my thumb (I figured that if blisters developed while I was at the temple, I could still get dressed and do the work), and ended up enjoying a beautiful and nearly trouble free session (one sister passed out during the session, but she wanted to go on and was fine the rest of the time). Dad attended a session at the temple on Thursday evening.

Our wonderful home teacher came to visit on Tuesday. (His companion is our bishop, who couldn't come because he is playing mom to his kids while Mom and oldest daughters are at Girls' Camp.

Our bishop is such a great man. He begins our Sacrament Meeting by expressing thanks for the service that has happened in the week prior: Girls' Camp, meals and help for those who have been ill. Not specific names, but just gratitude. Later, before we partake of the Sacrament, he reminds us of the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It makes partaking of the Sacrament such a spiritual experience. And our Fast and Testimony Meeting was so uplifting. We heard from a new mother expressing gratitude for her new baby and her greater understanding of the Plan of Happiness. We had a 12 year old young woman, who has cochlear implants that have been giving her troubles, express a testimony of how as she as gone through this trial, she knew Heavenly Father was giving her this experience to help her grow, and she realized that, while she likes to be independent and do things on her own, she needs to allow others to help and serve. She has an interpreter now for a time, and she was grateful for the things of service she learned at Girls' Camp. She is 12...and absolutely amazing! I love the uplift from my Sundays at church and am so glad I am able to go!

I indexed this week: some passport applications from 1912 and Freedman contracts. My total for the year so far is 2949.

In scripture reading, I am currently in Mosiah 3 and Dad is in 2 Corinthians. We both read Elder Boyd K. Packer's final General Conference talk. It was an assurance that, though the World sees marriage and family differently, the Plan of Happiness makes it clear on why we are here and what the Lord's plan is for His children.


The Wilkins Family
I need to update you all about the week prior to this. I had not heard from Allison, nor saw anything on Facebook, so I just assumed they were very busy and didn't have time to update. She messaged me on Monday and shared this:

"Last Sunday( which was Fathers' Day) I woke up with horrible low abdominal pain on the left ... I got through church and feeding the missionaries. It got to the point where I couldn't stand or sit without being in horrible pain, so Mike dropped me off at the ER. They did blood and urine labs which came back normal, and then a CT scan, which came back normal. They sent me home at around 5:00 in the morning with instructions to call my doctor for an ultrasound, because it could be a cyst, and because I won't take pain meds, they told me there's nothing they could do for me. I used our cell phone to call Mike to pick me up, and that's the last time we have seen the phone. I'm guessing it fell out of my pocket or bag. We've looked everywhere for it without luck... On Monday and Tuesday the pain lessened. On Wednesday I went to my doctor, who thinks that it was an ovarian cyst that ruptured (hence the pain disappearing after it ruptured). She sent me for an ultrasound just to make sure everything was okay. I had that Friday and am now waiting for results. .. Adam made a cool ...PVC bow that he is excited to use. He had his first water polo game on Saturday and did great and won! Grace and Josh LOVED swim lessons and both passed Level I swim. They are taking Level II in a few weeks. Adam did a wonderful job passing the sacrament this week and last week. Mike has had a trying time at work... shopping carts get stolen often and his boss is blaming Mike personally for it. Our van's transmission started slipping last week and is horrible to drive... but I think we are just going to give up and drive it until it's dead. We are done with that van. Sam is having a blast having all of his siblings home to play with him all of the time."
Oh my goodness! Lots of prayers for our sweet Vegas family!!
Sam enjoyed Nutella this week
For my birthday, they were totally ready to Skype with Grammy, but we couldn't get it set up, so Dad called on his phone and they sang a wonderful "Happy Birthday to You" for me! LOVED IT! Thank you Wilkins family!!! I know they were up very late on Saturday, because people in Allison and Mike's neighborhood KNOW how to have a fireworks show...and shoot off fireworks very late into the night!

The Ethan Rice Family
Kaylee finished her Saturday swimming lesson cut short (pool was evacuated with the code "watermelon seed") after only 15 minutes so Ethan takes her after work on Monday to make up. They both had a busy week at work, and stopped by late Friday night after Ethan was done with pizzas to visit and bring presents:

They gave me a "Countdown to Christmas" clock for my Village. I set it last night...171 days left before Santa comes!

This is my most favorite Nut and Chew candy...and I plan on enjoying after Church on Sunday.

Beautiful flowers, balloons, See's Nuts and Chews, and a new addition to my Winter Village...Countdown To Christmas. (Sure wish Kayty would let me put the village up early!)

They had a great trip on Saturday to Bearazona and Kaylee enjoyed the bears...and the cooler weather!!

Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee kindly came by on Sunday before we left for church and fixed our Skype! So thankful Ethan is our I.T. hero!!!!

The Doran Rice Family
Doran, Amber, Kelsie and Kooper stopped by on Friday before flying out on their Summer vacation to Ohio and Michigan. They are visiting her dad and will have a grand adventure. Doran had a root canal last weekend and is doing well...a WHOLE lot less pain than last Friday! They called Saturday morning to say they arrived in Michigan and were enjoying the beautiful weather. Kelsie enjoyed the airplane trip and was happy in the background. Poor little Kooper-man: threw up on the plane (thank heaven for those handy barf bags!), in the rental car (that was, at first too small so they had to pay more for a larger one...and the heat and a/c worked crazy in that one), couldn't sleep in the hotel. Thank heavens for ipads and Curious George.We heard early Sunday morning that Doran's phone had broken, and so had Amber's nose! (Kooper was tossed on her face...). They are enjoying Michigan right now, and the lovely cool weather!

Morgan and Kyle were planning on coming over Saturday to clean up the back yard, since next Saturday they are having a small pizza party for Kyle's girlfriend, but as yet, we have not seen them. They may have worked on Saturday...or gone to the lake...

Kayty changed her doctors' appointment...again! She forgot to get her bloodwork done enough ahead of time, so she did that late in the week. She went to FHE and Bachelorette on Monday, spent her day off Tuesday watching "Bones", got her nails done for her trip to San Diego

watched more "Bones" on her Thursday day off, worked, gave me a new shop for my Winter Village,

worked, and went to a friend's swimming party for the 4th.

The Nathan Rice Family
Nate and Jess got to attend a Diamondback's Baseball game on Monday evening. Jessica's dad got tickets from the plumbers union hall. It must have been a good game, and Dbacks won 10 - 6! He had awesome seats!

He briefly ran by on Tuesday and picked up and delivered a few things, and grit blasted a bell housing on Thursday.  He works 40 hours this week and next week, so he has all night to do homework and then bed. Busy times for him!

We had planned a movie night for my birthday...they offered to watch "The Sound of Music" with us (which, by the way, when I went through our dvds, was missing, thus, we went and bought a new one at WalMart...and it gave Dad something to get me for my birthday...I am a tough one to buy for!)

Nate came by and ran in for a pic, a hug, and some fireworks to take home.
They came over Sunday evening with warm peach cobbler (yummo!) and my gift, a pineapple corer slicer. It is amazing!! So glad we  purchased a pineapple the day before! They have been so busy with school this week, but are looking forward to having only three weeks left!

While he waited to pick up his redone old computer, he had a meeting and managed to have it on our computer while I dusted, cleaned and scrubbed. New duties, again. Collect data on processes at the Engines facility. No particular assignments given...just a lot of "we need more belly buttons" (I guess that is an odd reference to needing more people. Since dad was picked as one of the 10 people on this special assignment, six have quit/retired.) He drove out to Tempe and picked up his computer...turned it had NONE of his files on it!It took him awhile on Tuesday, but he did locate them...on his desktop. (Apparently Honeywell IT guys AND women fill up their desktops!) His old assignments are over and his new assignment cannot officially begin until a coworker in Minnesota starts training on Monday, so he is just hanging out waiting for emails and phone calls.

Dad's Garden
We are not sure why, but his tomatoes are just giving up! Leaves are shriveled up and dry, and the tomatoes that we have are not very big, and are kind of shriveling up. I did get some picked that weren't hurt from the heat, etc.

Season tomato total (and this might be about it...): 1505

Peppers are still going, but they are looking a little taxed, with leaves that are very pale green on the top of the plants. He is still busy dehydrating and making pepper powder.

Dad's Truck
While waiting for his steering column to arrive in shipment, he made gaskets for his gas tank sending unit, bent steel and made bases to attach the seats from the old van to the new panel truck. LOTS of hot work! Two solid days of work, sweating in the heat...but seats are finally installed...
This is what they looked like before. He had to weld a new bracket to hold the seat to the floor, drill holes and attach the frame. The seats were from our old van, and the mechanisms were very rusty...and immovable. So he worked hours and hours cleaning, getting rust off, grit blasting, and painting.

First seat in. Mind you, we will still need to order seat covers or get them reupholstered.

That truck is so doggone much work...but he is SO happy when a task is finally done!

Other highlights
Dad spent Monday late afternoon doing LOTS of yard work! I love it when he uses the gas blower to clean the porches off! Much better than sweeping! 

I completed Annalee's Grammy Stocking! Hip hip hooray!!

I began celebrating Christmas in July this week. I started my trial ornaments. I only use precut wood shapes now...I am NOT standing in a 200 degree garage cutting wood any more. I liked the first four I painted, so I went ahead and ordered more wood. This years' theme: Christmas in the Swamp (reptile Christmas). My ornament isn't a fancy one...there aren't as many patterns to paint anymore...but it will be a reptile...and NOT a snake!

I also started reading my wonderful book, a Mothers' Day gift from the Wilkins family..

And Christmas music has been playing...while Kayty isn't here to hear.
On Wednesday evening, it was amazingly cool...that being it was 101 degrees,  not 110 degrees, so I raked and bagged the stuff blown on Monday, and Dee blew the yard for nearly two hours. Then,  I spent over an hour on both Thursday and Friday morning raking and bagging the piles and piles of dead leaves that fell off the grape vines. Since the cause of the leaf drop was Powdery Mildew, they cannot be used as mulch and must be removed so we can finally get rid of this. These grapevines are really a pain to keep going. We have to watch for white flys, grape leaf skeletonizers, and now the mildew. Grammy's Grapevine Gazebo may need to turn into just a vine gazebo.

Dad cooked some very awesome ribs on Friday (I am not a rib fan, so I thought they looked good and that was enough for me.) I discovered July 4 is National Rib Day, so he celebrated early. 
Please ignore the horrible looking cookie sheet.

I hiked on Friday was cloudy with thunder and lightning, and, though still warm, it was pretty awesome! My birthday hike was great! I was the first one in the park...
That's the Phoenix Temple behind me. The spire is not illuminated till 4:45 am and it turns off at 5: 15 am so it was really special to see it in the sunrise!

and up the mountain!

On the way up, I saw a scorpion (I am frantically watching the ground with  a flashlight till the sun is fully up for snakes!), a lizard, an owl perched on a saguaro cactus arm hooting, and a coyote running through the park as I left.

Doran and Kooper stopped by Friday (on the way to get Kooper a haircut), brought me a wonderful birthday card, and we had a bit of fun!

Papa gave some corn to feed to the chickens...but he thought it was pretty doggone tasty himself! One bite for the bite for Kooper.

Ice cream sandwich treats at Grammy's

I had an awesome birthday. Dad brushed the pool for LEAST favorite chore! He did dishes, I did my Saturday cleaning and laundry - something I like to do -, he bought me a Subway veggie only sub and I ate the bun, which was awesome since I am not supposed to eat any wasteful carbs (my A1C was pre-diabetic and the doctor wants me to watch...hmph), and we watched Macy's Fireworks show on tv...25 solid minutes of fireworks with music and no commercials. I got to watch them on my couch in the a/c! We went for a swim afterwards and watched a few of the neighbors fireworks, and the glow from Wet n Wild's show lit up our backyard.

House from Kayty

Card from Doran

Card and ornament from Dorrie
I ate my wonderful Sees candy right after, or two pieces. TOTAL HEAVEN!!

Not so highlights
We had wind...but no rain! Just a few sprinkles on Thursday. The weather was hot, but not molten. The average temperature for this time of year is 107...and finally at the end of the 10 day forecast, the average is 104. Now, that doesn't mean that it won't shoot up to 113, but that is less the normal.

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