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!

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