Saturday, December 31, 2016

Week of December 26 - 31, 2016


Dad and I attended the temple on Tuesday night, intending to complete our last 10 sealing ordinances that we had been given by Sharynn. Another group: a couple and his sister had brought at least 50 names, so we ended up helping them for over two and a half hours. It was a blessed experience to kneel at the altar in the temple, and experience daughter after daughter sealed to her parents. It literally brought tears to my eyes as I thought of that mother, that father, waiting for each and every child to be sealed to them. We attended the temple Wednesday night for a wonderful endowment session.I had set a goal to attend the temple 30 times in 2016 (between temple shut downs) and ended up with 32. Dad can go every week, and always goes when he is out of town, so he attended 55 times. 

I completed my reading of the January 2017 Ensign this week. I wanted to complete the Book of Mormon one more time but I only got to Ether 1.

Indexing has been harder and slower...fewer records to do and fewer names in each record. This year, for my final total, I have indexed a total of 51,840 records so far this year. I doubt I will get that many done next year. Ship Logs for Immigrants arriving in New York are all complete and digitized, and marriage records, while full of information, take much longer (I spent three hours early Saturday morning, just to see how many I could do and didn't get much over 100 records done.) I still intend to continue. My goal last year was 5000...and the goal for next year is 5000 too.

One of my goals was to help others more, and that involved substituting willingly for those who need to be elsewhere instead of serving in their callings. I was able to help out on 22 occasions.


The Wilkins Family
The Wilkins family had a wonderful week off! They pooled their Christmas money and purchased a ping pong table.
They also enjoyed playing their new family games

The Ethan Rice Family
Here is a pic of Daddy and Wade on Christmas Eve

I spoke with Cameo this week. She is keeping up, though still fighting off an infection. We were able to face time with Kaylee on her special day: Happy Fourth Birthday, Kaylee!!! She celebrated early since Daddy had to work, at Stone Mountain Park.
Tubing down a mounting. The pic with her going on the big tube with Ethan is precious!

Looking at all the pretty lights
Decorating a cookie

After the song, and a candle in her own very special piece of cake,  I had a fun and very long chat that included a very creative game of hide and seek. Ethan provided the way for me to travel out and my plane ticket was purchased on Monday.

Ethan came home from work with the flu on fun! He sounded better on Saturday. Hope this doesn't go crazy through the family!

The Doran Rice Family
Busy work week.

Busy work week, and Morgan started the week sick. No fun!

Kayty had a slow work week, but she and her work friends got "into" puzzle doing, so her week was full of puzzles.
Lilly even helped...

The Nathan Rice Family
Nathan and Jessica are purely enjoying the break, even in the sub freezing weather. Nathan made a new table for his storage unit so he can go there to work. Jess was able to go shopping alone with Annalee napped.

Just a few emails and some training for dad this week.

My work: take down Christmas. What began a few years ago as a necessary thing to do on my week "off" from Kaylee no has become a regular event. I start on the 26th or 27th. I just like the look of clean and bare when it gets to January 1st. The Village is still up for a couple more weeks, so, while the shelves are all cleaned off, the old items that fill the shelves like photos etc are packed away.

Dad's Garden
Dad's tomato seedlings are going crazy, so he got some chicken manure (commercial) and completed his final garden prep. 
Samples of his peppers, dehydrated and ground

Year of the House
Morgan got sick and was unable to help Dad with the attic insulation, so I did what I could on the walls around the top of the living room are better insulated. Dad will blow in cellulose insulation after we do some prep- removing empty boxes, etc.

Other highlights
Rain...lovely rain.

Great batch of chicken pot pie soup and home made rolls came from my hands on Friday night. 

Trying to make our kimchi on Saturday night. Spanish rice for dinner. We are quite global in our old age.

Not so highlights
 Dad did fix the washing machine, with a simple and inexpensive part. A different parts company technician figured it out immediately. We were given the less experiences, encourage them to buy a big expensive part technician on our first call. So we spent over 800 dollars needlessly. We sold it on Craigslist for $225. Made back the $100 for parts, one very unnecessary! We have part of the new washing machine paid for too.

New Year's Eve
I publish this blog on December 31st since it makes the printing easier when I have the blog book created. I keep hearing, since a few celebrities have died in the last few days, that 2016 was the worst year ever.

What? Worst year ever? We live in a country and operate under a Constitution that gives us the freedom to Worship where we want,  work as hard as we want and keep what we make (well, a lot of it), where water is clean, food is plentiful, you can eat what you want when you want to, and have it prepared in moments, where laws keep most living with respect, where we have schools that both boys and girls can learn all they want to and be anything they want to become.

Worst year ever?

No, not at all!

Six healthy kids. NINE healthy grandkids...and number TEN on the way.

Our oldest three children are all home owners!

Morgan has someone very special in his life and he and Christy share lots of fun times with Doran and Amber and family.

Nathan doing super well in school.

Kayty alive! Not to be taken for granted at all!

Nano and Grandma alive, well, thriving and happy. 

All have jobs that want jobs.

We have been very, very blessed!!

I think when I jog...and the last few jogs have been filled with thoughts. Dad's job has been a trial for years, but especially this year. I was going to work full time next year, but I really can't leave this entire house, yard, etc. to dad alone, so part time will be the most I can do. I was thinking about a theme for my goals next year... I at first thought of how depressing dad's job situation makes things...vacation time is unclear, insurance is unclear.

I was reading a book Jessica and Nathan gave me for Christmas entitled "In Mary's Arms: A Christmas Message for Mothers". In the chapter "Replacing Fear With Faith" talks about the angel visiting Mary, and that the first thing we learn about Mary was that she was afraid. "Fear not, for thou has found favor with God." (Luke1: 30) Mary had to have been afraid, but distinguished her is that she went headlong into her fear and found her faith.

Isn't that amazing! She found her faith in the midst of her fear.

That is also the message shared by Gordon B. Hinckley, the prophet we will study the teachings of in Sunday School this year. Be happy. Be positive. Have faith. He planted trees every year. They demonstrated that, through good seasons and bad seasons, things do grow and produce fruit. So this year, I am going ahead, facing my fears...for dad's job, for Kayty's health...with faith. Head on. You will see trees in various seasons on the blog. My ornaments next year are already cut out (Dad is a superstar!!!): slices of an oak tree limb found when Dad and Doran were squirrel hunting last year.

Now, to go over my last years goals.

Spiritually, my prayers have improved. I have worked hard to eliminate "luck" from my speech, when it comes to a good experience and recognize/point out the blessings involved. My sabbath day observance has improved. My fasting is ok and I didn't read my patriarchal blessing every month like I had planned. Will work on that next year. My temple attendance was what I wanted, even with not being able to attend as many early sessions due to concerns over Kayty, and not being able to attend with Dad due to cub scouts. I did read every Ensign Magazine cover to cover every month, and will continue in that goal next year, since it's not yet a habit. I read the Book of Mormon almost every day, and read it completely two times and almost a third time. I indexed more than 5000 names. I was more friendly to our neighbors, but sometimes I get driven nuts...gotta work on that one!

As for the Year of the House, with Wade Wallin's help, we fixed the front porch and master bedroom ceilings, plus better covered the skylight cover ups in the bathrooms and the ceilings look great. I painted the front porch ceiling and door and wall trims, the entry way, the living room, and the kids' bathroom. Ceilings where repairs were made were all painted. New doors were painted, trimmed and installed in the entire house (except Kayty's room - I have to be able to get in if emergency arises). I started the playroom clean out and transformation.

I did a ton of decluttering this year! Pantry, closets, drawers, cupboards, even cleaned out and donated decorations from every holiday.

My exercising/jogging has changed, since I hesitate being gone too long, so I jog about 35 minutes and try to squeeze in some exercise. Next year, that needs to improve. I hope to turn the playroom into a guest room that is also a place to exercise. Nothing fancy, just soft floor and space to move.

Well, that's last year. I am working on my goals for next year. Better family home evening study time, a few day trips for dad and I, and visits to see far away grandkids.  We need to complete the house projects: the insulation, the master bathroom, and the playroom floor. Lots of plans in the works as celebrations and traditions are tweaked. We also had some very unplanned major expenses that hit us hard, especially when one large expense happened during a furlough week. Furlough weeks mean no pay and no work, but bills still have to be paid: house payment, health insurance, utilities, etc. Our house payment also is going up next year. Quality experiences over quantity spent will guide next year.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Week of December 19 - 25, 2016


Dad and I attended the Wednesday evening session at the Phoenix Temple. It was wonderful!

I have indexed 51115 records so far this year. I have gotten into a "groove" with Oregon marriage records. I end up recording many names per record, which accomplishes a lot for others: husband, wife, husbands parents, wife's parents, birth dates and locations, etc.

I am beginning 4th Nephi this week. I have read part of the January Ensign magazine and finally made headway on my "theme" for my goals next year, thanks to Gordon B. Hinckley.


The Wilkins Family
The Wilkins Family enjoyed their week off school. They went to see Santa and decorated cookies on Tuesday. Popcorn balls were on the agenda for Wednesday, and Thursday, Mike was to take the kids to see an amazing light display in Henderson. Allison created a beautiful dress for Grace.
 Merry Christmas from the Wilkins Family
 Allison, Adam and Grace participated in the ward choir for their Christmas presentation during Sacrament Meeting.

The Ethan Rice Family
This family is doing well. Got this pic late Monday night...
On Thursday, Cameo started running a fever and is now on meds for mastitis. So sorry Cameo!
Got some more cute pics of Wade during the week...Thanks so much, Cameo!

The Doran Rice Family
This family had a very busy and tiring week...they shopped till the wee hours of the morning and worked all day, plus taking care of those puppies. We saw them on Thursday as we helped deliver a nice bed gifted to Kelsie from Christy. Kooper and I had fun looking at the neighbors' Christmas lights and just running after one another.

Morgan and Christy are doing well. They have located a larger, first floor apartment in the same complex and will be moving there in March. Morgan had a shortened work week, but still was very busy, and helped a friend of Christy's who is very ill repair their car.

Kayty worked, got a cool blanket from her employer to go with the cool soup bowl (while Dad works for a multinational corporation and gets NOTHING...not one stinkin thing...not even a bite of ham! Anyway, she was thrilled.She exchanged gifts with a few friends and had a nice potluck meal on Thursday and took mashed potatoes (my homemade with butter, cream and cream cheese).

Total saves this week: 1 major

The Nathan Rice Family
Nathan and Jessica called with a wonderful surprise on Wednesday morning: Annalee is going to be a big sister! Hooray!!! Grandchild #10 is on the way late summer/early Fall. They are staying warm in the -4 degree temperatures and enjoying the break from school. On a good day, Nathan took the car and got an alignment done.Sunday church was cancelled: too much snow!

Dad worked on his vacation days...trying to get his work phone to allow emails to come through, answering computer emails, and even taking a required training course. I guess them taking away his vacation days for the future was not really that much of a change for us, since he has worked some nearly every day this last vacation burn up time. He also substituted an 8th grade afternoon reading and social studies class,and a third grade.

Dad's Garden
I picked a ton of lettuce, chard, spinach, and washed and cut in up so Dad could have salad ready to eat. Tomato seedlings are growing well.

Citrus continues to come on, as well as the peas are slowly growing.The rain this week has been such a blessing...

Garden is just soaking it up!

Other highlights
 New washing machine arrived on Monday...

Delivery guy was a worthless creeper...and I told Home Depot about it. No help whatsoever.
My jogging week was filled with Christmas lights (though no new ones on Monday), heavy knit hat and mittens on Monday, no hat or mittens and not even a hoodie on Wednesday, a rain poncho on Thursday, and that long sleeved shirt on Friday.

Merry Christmas 2016
 Christmas was much more challenging with family spread across the country, but we are so thankful for FaceTime and Facebook so that we could keep in touch and witness some of the fun!

Christmas Eve
 Dad grilled chicken early, since it was raining all day. Came out perfect...

Nathan, Jessica and Annalee shared their gifts from us and opened them via FaceTime. It was fun!

Nathan's machine shop project became Dad's Christmas gift: a fly tying set up. I am also enjoying the book they got for me about Mary, Jesus and Motherhood.
I had planned on seeing the neighborhood luminarios but the rain all day made for too wet conditions for that. We did end up watching "Its A Wonderful Life" which eliminated my pouty attitude and helped me see all the wonderful things in my life!

And the traditional 'before' pictures...

Christmas Day
I started texting with Cameo early Sunday morning. She was busy finishing the Monkey Bread and taking pics of Wade...

I did some indexing and then got ready for church.
We had a wonderful Sacrament meeting full of music. 
After church, we came home, changed and loaded up to visit at Doran and Amber's house. 
 Papa made this easel for Kooper

Morgan and Doran made Dad this awesome knife from a railroad spike! This included heating the spike and hammering and hammering and hammering till it shone and then sharpening it. Dad loves it! I received a gift card and I am heading to Amazon asap!
We returned home, made a salad and then headed to Grandma Dorrie's for Christmas Dinner

We ate yummy chicken parmesan, cauliflower and cheese, salad, corn, garlic bread and cookies for dessert. We opened gifts and also got to FaceTime with Nathan, Jessica and Annalee, and Kaylee, Ethan, Cameo and Wade.

We came home and opened our gifts...

A suit and two ties from Kayty for Dad

Sees Nuts and Chews, an electric blanket for the car, and two pieces for my village from kayty

From Kayty, she added to the Grinch Ville she started at my birthday with the two houses on the right.
And Dad got me 'Toots Model Train Factory"...a piece I had wanted and got for a great deal on ebay.

Not so highlights
Dad finally figured out the actual part needed to fix my washing machine...only 30 bucks! So I was really bummed I had to come up with $800 instead of a $100 fix. Money has been very tight and I really liked my washing machine as it was. And the parts company should have told us about the sensor!