Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Though the Thanksgiving holiday is over, thanksgiving spills out into the Christmas season. I'm starting to decorate, and I love to reminisce as the various ornaments go on the tree. I'll post photos later. While I like to have my home look inviting, the real beauty for me is in the memories and spirit of love.
Thankful thought: Thanks for many handmade decorations, which remind me of the stubby-fingered cuties of the past who would proudly hang their glittered, cinnamon-scented creations on the tree. They have outgrown the stubby-fingered stage, but I still think they are cuties!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I am so glad today is Sunday, though, and that I have one day to rest before the regular daily schedule begins. And I am so glad for the following counsel from Spencer W. Kimball regarding Sunday activities:
"The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important, but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day at which he is expected."
Did you pick up on the taking a nap part? I tend to be like a young child when it comes to taking naps; even though I might need one, I resist taking one because there are so many other things I could/should be doing. I absolutely love reading that sometimes taking a nap is precisely what is needed. After church, I followed that advice, and I feel so much better!
Thankful thought: Thanks for commandments, which truly are blessings, and thanks (again!) for John, who fixed lunch and encouraged me to nap.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I hope your Thanksgiving weekend is similarly filled with wonderful "in real life" interactions. One of the iconic male Thanksgiving traditions seems to be watching football games. Of course, it is vitally important to get your fantasy football team set before the games begin. I believe that activity prompted this modern three-generation family photo:
Thankful thought: I am thankful for computers, but I am more thankful for the people behind the screens. I am also thankful for parents who got rid of the TV when I was young, which allowed me a childhood free from that distraction.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Oh, I am so smart. What an easy fix!
I just saved having to trouble John with a "honey-do" when he gets home from work. What a great wife I am. Such a helper!
Uh oh . . .
Just serve me up a big helping of humble pie for Thanksgiving, and please pass the super glue.
Thankful thought: Thanks to whoever invented super glue (I hope it works well enough), and thanks to my wonderful, patient, never-disparaging husband who realizes my heart is in the right place, even when my efforts to help fail miserably. Oh, and he does know how to replace toilets if need be. I just hope he doesn't have to.
Oh, keep your fingers crossed on the super glue repair. Cheaptoilettanklids.com tells me I made a $50 blunder!
Because the tables are pushed together, the idea is that everyone can join in one conversation if desired.
Some of the furniture from the family room made its way to the dining room:
I rather like the coziness of the room now. (I think it feels more cozy than it looks.) I'll probably keep it that way, at least through Christmastime, since we will be in need of the large table arrangement through the holidays. I envision putting the Christmas tree in that room--which, of course, will add to the comfortable feeling.
Today will be spent making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and stopping at Trader Joe's for the obligatory Tofurkey for the vegetarians of the bunch. Reno helped me out already today by sleeping in! He was probably all tuckered out from waking up so many times during the night. However, I appreciated a couple of hours of uninterrupted work time this morning.
Thankful thought: I'm thankful for anticipation and the fun of planning.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Today is just going to be one of "those" days, at least where this blog is concerned. My attempted blog post from yesterday never materialized. Oh, I had plenty of ideas, but nothing ended up sounding right. This morning I had another idea. I was going to design my own visiting teaching handout and share that. Well, the handout turned out great (IMHO), but I'm suffering from being on the learning curve and can't quite figure out how to show it to you on the blog. There is a way to post to a blog from Word, but I keep getting a warning that says my log-in info could be visible if I continue. Umm, no thanks. Anyway, I'll continue trying to learn what I'm doing blog-wise, but I can't spend more time on it right now. (Thanksgiving is coming, after all!)
In the meantime, I will share more puppy photos, because, really, they never grow old (the photos, that is).
As you can see, Reno is still really small. We had to move his food and water bowls out of the stand:
Saturday, November 19, 2011
We met the puppy truck for the first time. It was hard to miss.
Happy day! The truck driver put Reno into our arms.
After a comfortably-paced meal, a trip to the backyard to relieve, and a bit of playtime, Reno is curled up sleeping by my feet. So far, so good.
Thankful thought: Thanks for my family, particularly John, who supports me in my crazy endeavors like puppy raising. (And youngest daughter, who is a co-puppy raiser with me!)
Check back tonight if you'd like to see some cute puppy photos. Nicki is ready to live with the man who will be her puppy raiser. (She's reliably housebroken now.) We will miss having her around, but we will not be puppy-less. This afternoon we get to meet the Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy truck to receive a 9-week-old male yellow lab. We will be his puppy raiser until he is ready to return to San Rafael for his formal guide dog training, typically when he is 14-18 months old. So stayed tuned . . .
Thankful thought: Thanks for the colorful fall leaves and for enthusiastic sweet puppy greetings.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I do agree with John in that I do not enjoy the "rush, rush, buy, buy" commercialization of Christmas. (Though I do like to shop ahead throughout the year when I find a bargain.) I would rather the Christmas decorations appeared after Thanksgiving, though I'm not above putting the tree up on the day after Thanksgiving.
However, I am definitely all for having an attitude of gratitude, as well as keeping the spirit of Christmas alive, throughout the year. As it is only one week until Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share the following video clip to get us all inspired to consider those things for which we are thankful.
Thankful thought: Thanks for Thanksgiving, which gives us an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The bunk bed has been transformed:
I even straightened things up a bit and hung pictures:
Don't worry, though. I didn't get rid of anything:
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Granted, the photo isn't great, but it shows a day's labor done. We've had a leaky roof since we moved here, which we've had "fixed", only to have it drip again in next year's rain shower. (Living in the desert does have its advantages; our rains are infrequent.)
Today, though, I have high hopes that the repair was done correctly. Instead of applying a seal of some sort, this time the tiles were removed and new felt paper put down. That should eliminate the need for drip-catching buckets.
It feels good to have another big item on the to-do list done, even if it wasn't a DIY project.
Thankful thought: Thanks for honest workers who take pride in a job well-done.
Monday, November 14, 2011
A few years ago, John and I (and three of our kids) had the opportunity to participate in a pioneer trek re-enactment, where we pushed and pulled handcarts over the course of a few days. (Our oldest had participated four years previously, and our youngest will have the opportunity to participate this next summer.) We loved being Ma and Pa to the teens who were assigned to be our family for the trek. I also gained a deeper appreciation for those handcart pioneers. I was only pushing and pulling for a few days, during pleasant weather, with adequate food, and with no worry about the outcome for my family. The pioneers walked for months, in freezing weather, on very strict rations of meager food, and experienced sickness and even death. Their faithful examples stand to remind me of how much I have to be thankful for.
Thankful thought: Thanks for food, shelter, easy transportation, medical treatments, and those who live with great conviction.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Last year, we used a folding table to supplement our regular tables at Thanksgiving. This year, said folding table is being used as a craft table. I could, of course, take everything off the table, but John suggested that we pick up another folding table. I suggested that if we were going to buy another table, maybe we could find one with a little more character for about the same price. Thanks to craigslist, I was right!
Here's a peek at a couple of the feet:
Aren't they cool? The table is a drop-leaf style, with 4 additional leaves. This is what it looks like with the additional leaves removed, and the sides dropped:
The table could definitely use refinishing, but the additional leaves are in good shape. The table is definitely solid wood--mahogany, John thinks. Imagine how beautiful it will be when the entire table has a finish like this:
(OK, so maybe I should have dusted/polished that leaf first.) I think that if I'm being realistic, the "refinishing" that my Thanksgiving guests will see will be a tablecloth. Maybe by Thanksgiving 2012, I'll have it really refinished.
Anyway, the table is over 8 feet long when all the leaves are in. I love the fact that it can be as large or as small as we need it to be. And I absolutely love that we paid just a bit more than the cost of a utilitarian plastic mass-produced rectangular table. (Not that there is anything wrong with those--in fact, we will definitely be using utilitarian plastic mass-produced chairs around this new table!)
Thankful thought: Thanks to my mom, who taught me the joy of bargain-hunting!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
|Donald Joseph Telfer|
This next photo is of my grandpa in his WWII navy uniform:
|Ettis Raymond Brockett|
This final photo doesn't have anything to do with Veteran's Day, but I just love my great-grandma's outfit!
|Malissa Edna Morgan|
My mom remembers Lis as an outgoing, talkative person. She also remembers the iced cakes with nuts sprinkled on top that Lis would make. According to my mom, Lis believed that if you knew how to play the piano, you would be popular. Lis did not play the piano, but send money to my mom's parents so they could purchase a piano so my mom could take lessons. She loved lilacs and listening to baseball games on the radio. She particularly like the Yankees. She liked to play cards, and taught my mom to play solitaire. Apparently she was very ill when she was young, and as a result, did not have much hair, so she always wore hats. She was also tall, about 5'8", which made her a bit self-conscious. I think she must have been pretty self-assured the day she wore this hat, though. It would easily push her height well over the six-foot mark. I imagine it was quite the fashion statement in its day!
Thankful thought: Thanks for grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. I love learning about their personalities, and seeing how they have influenced my life. For example, if Lis hadn't funded the purchase of a piano for my mom, I probably wouldn't have learned how to play. (Although I'm afraid my piano playing didn't put me in the ranks of the popular kids at school. My kids are absolutely convinced, and probably rightly so, that I was [am?] a geek.) I have to wonder, too, if loving lilacs is an inherited trait. If so, I know where I got it!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thankful thoughts: Thanks for a puppy who has decided that her toys are interesting after all, and is contentedly gnawing on them right now. Thanks for a carpet cleaner, which comes in handy with a puppy in the house. Thanks for a random visit with a friend in the craft store--it was great to catch up with you, Karin! Thanks for a warm house on cold days. Thanks for youngest daughter, who has taken to thanking me for giving her rides to early-morning seminary.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Recently a nine-year-old boy was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. The doctor explained the diagnosis and the treatment, which included months of chemotherapy and major surgery. He said it would be a very difficult time for the boy and his family but then added, “People ask me, ‘Will I be the same after this is over?’ I tell them, ‘No, you won’t be the same. You will be so much stronger. You will be awesome!’”
Thankful thought: I'm not going to name names for this post, but I admire those people who have allowed their trials to shape them into the awesome people they are, but have not allowed those trials to define them. I have been surprised more than once to learn that cheerful individuals have actually experienced great tragedy and sorrow in the past.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Dear, sweet John got up with Nicki this morning, and I blissfully caught up on some shut-eye.
Thankful thought: Thanks to John, who selflessly gave me an extra 2 hours of sleep.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Today, however, I finished putting together a different birthday present, one which I imagine has more widespread appeal. I thought I had originally found the idea on www.thedatingdivas.com, but I can't seem to find it there today. Anyway, what I did was come up with twelve date ideas, then made each idea into a cute card, and put each card in an envelope. Voila! Date-of-the-month club! I put the twelve envelopes, along with an explanatory letter, in a larger envelope. Now each month, John can open an envelope and we can plan which evening we will use the date-of-the-month idea.
While we are very good about having a weekly date, we have occasionally been caught in the "I don't know, what do you want to do?" conundrum. I've had fun coming up with some new ideas, along with fresh takes on old ideas. Sorry, I can't tell you what the ideas are, as John does read this blog (Hi, honey!), and I don't want to ruin the surprise for him. But you can find lots of ideas at the above-mentioned web site, and you can also explore places where you live that you haven't been before.
I love hearing about good gift ideas, so feel free to comment and share ideas you have!
Thankful thought: I'm thankful for so many people, who have given me thoughtful, made- or picked-out-with- love gifts. If you are old enough to remember Romper Room, you will understand why I feel like the host of that show: "I see Nicole, I see Gwen, I see Ann, I see Malinda, I see Julie, I see Mimi, I see Alisha, I see Sheryl, I see Sue, I see Jenna, I see Debbie, I see Rhea, I see Leslie . . ." The list doesn't stop; I just have to stop to bake a cake. Thank you, friends! (And thank you, family--I especially see each of you!)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Before I tell you what I did, let me tell you that for years, John has been talking about how great it would be to get a Big Boy statue and put it in our front yard and decorate it for each season/holiday. (I'm pretty sure he isn't actually serious about this, but you never know . . . ) Anyway, earlier this year the antique store had the statue! It was probably 7 feet tall, but the sticker price was too high. Besides that, we would have had to rent a truck to even get it home. However, I was able to find this little guy:
John was thrilled with his own Big Boy, but now he needs props to make it a seasonal item. I won't show you all of them, but here are a few I threw together:
I struggled a bit to figure out what to do for some of the months, until I discovered sports beads at the craft store. Now Big Boy has leis for all of the seasons: football, basketball, and baseball! Here he is sporting his football lei:
I recognize this probably isn't one of those ideas that many other people will think, "Yes! That is exactly what my husband will appreciate!", but I am excited, because I'm pretty sure John is going to be tickled pink.
(In case you were wondering, yes, he will receive his wished-for sun shade, as well as a few other things.)
Thankful thought: Thanks to John, my fun-loving husband. Happy birthday!