Sunday, June 30, 2013

We had a wedding at our house!

One of Bill's employees had been living with his girlfriend for years, but came to realize that is not Heavenly Father's plan for families and decided they needed to marry.  In fact, they were both really happy with the idea.  But . . . translating it into reality was hard. 
Two weeks ago Bill offered to host the wedding at our house and help the groom make the necessary arrangements.  The groom jumped at the offer!

It was not difficult at all, because they weren't trying to have the "wedding of the century," just get married.
Bill arranged for the bishop of the geographical ward where the couple lives to come perform the wedding.  It turned out that he was just called to be a bishop last Sunday and he is only 29 years old!  This was his first wedding and he did a very nice job. 

There were about ten guests, plus our family.  I bought one of those big chocolate cakes with chocolate shavings all over the outside from Costco, and Caroline made several pitchers of delicious lemonade.  After the wedding the couple cut the cake and then we all ate and chatted.

Later in the day the adults went out for dinner and that was their June wedding day.  Just perfect and they are married!

Oh, I love the first picture because the bride looks just delighted to be getting married.  She was looking right at the groom her as her sister walked her in.  In the second picture you can see the groom's 16 year old son.  What a nice young man.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Missing Nauvoo

Last summer when we returned from Nauvoo we planned to return in 2013.  But . . . life got in the way and we realized going back in 2014 was more realistic, so we put 2014 in our sights instead. 

I was straightening up around the house and came across a little folder with the schedule for the Nauvoo Temple.
I'm envious that our friends are already there this year and enjoying the work, fun, and joy of being in Nauvoo and helping visitors have a terrific visit.

We are planning to apply to be summer volunteers next year--I hope they accept us!

Friday, June 28, 2013

My student Iris in Peru . . .

. . . met Elder D. Todd Christofferson today at the MTC in Peru.  Iris teaches Spanish there to new English-speaking missionaries, mostly from North America.  Elder Christofferson is in Peru to help create a new stake--the 100th in Peru!
Here are most (all?) of the teachers in the MTC there.  Iris is the third from the right.
100 stakes in Peru!  I had no idea the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was so widespread in that country.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wow--wouldn't you love to take a nap here?

I found this picture on Better Homes & Garden online and think it is utterly charming.  I love every single thing about it, including the corregated metal roof, the hanging "windows," the flower pots to hold the bed up, and the milky turquoise bedding.  Love!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Finding your roots can be addictive!

I had a few minutes tonight while I waited for my Peruvian student to show up online, so I started looking for family records on  It's an hour and 45 minutes later and I finally closed the search windows!  (My student must have forgotten our appointment.)
You can find cool things like military registration cards with signatures of your relatives.  Doesn't seeing the signature make him seem more real?

In addition to the paid site,, you can also go to the FREE site  Lots of great information on both sites.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What do you do when the water is shut off?

Carolyn called me today to tell me her apartment is without water.  Having no water is a hassle, but she does have bottled water in her kitchen to drink.  But . . .

. . . the only cooling in the apartment is a swamp cooler which DEPENDS on water for cooling.  Oh, and it was 104 today.  So she stripped down to the least amount of clothing she could decently wear and called her Aunt Katie to see if she could hang out.  Of course.

So this afternoon I had time to admire her skirt (I came thisclose to buying the same style at the same store today) and for us to enjoy homemade chili fries for dinner.  Next she's going to take a shower and head for work. 

I (almost) hope her water goes out again.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Looking for a document . . . .

I still haven't found the document, but it gave me an excuse to purge my filing cabinet files.  Long, long overdue.  I had about a 5-6 inch stack of paper to shred.
I shredded old insurance policies.  I shredded old medical bills and paperwork from settled lawsuits over two of those bills.  I got rid of correspondance from legal advisors and people I don't much like.  I threw out children's report cards (first term--superceded by the final grades).  I have space in my filing cabinet.
I'm going to send a stack of papers to my brother to run through his .pdf scanner, then shred.  I'll let him be the keeper of difficult papers.

I'm glad I didn't find the papers I was looking for.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

No menu today

This should look really enticing, right?
And here is a link to the Caribbean Chicken Kabobs recipe.

But my stomach feels so awful that nothing sounds appealing right now.  So I'll make this later in the week and perhaps will even buy some jerk seasoning.  Or maybe I have some, now that I think of it . . . but I may have bought just a tablespoon or two from a "spices by the pound" dispenser at a grocery store.  Anyway, I'm sure my family will like it.  I will too in a few days.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Four of your favorites?

How about you?
Tell me your favorite:
This can be an old one, a new one, popular, religious, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
What do you like to read?  If it's a blog or website, link it up so I can look too.  Tell me your favorite book or other read.
TV show/Movie
Is a vintage one?  A silly one?  A dramatic one?  A series?  A one-shot episode?  Or how about a movie?
This might be a real person, a fictional one, someone alive, or now deceased.
My loves:

Little Town on the Prarie
TV show/Movie
The Other side of the Mountain

Friday, June 21, 2013

The girl with things on her face!

Last December I blogged about Sophia and things on her face.  Tonight she was doctoring up a Papa Murphy's S'mores dessert pizza and the next thing I know, this is what she looks like:
I can't wait to use these pictures as blackmail some time in the future.  Hehe.  Just kidding.  I think.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Caroline is sick now

Caroline spent last night running back and forth between her bedroom and the bathroom.  Poor thing.  She ate almost nothing and slept most of the day.
Feel better tomorrow, Caroline!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Volunteer Speaking Partner program

The first college I attended was Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.  Now it is Brigham Young University-Idaho, a four-year university. 

One of their current distance-education programs helps non-native English speakers improve their English while they learn other subjects such as math, writing, and life skills.  Each student is enrolled in a class with a professor and in addition has a Speaking Partner with whom they go over additional lesson components in English, using Skype.
I was paired with a delightful 27 year old student from Peru.  Every week we start out by telling each other about our week and any surprising things that happened.  Then we go through the lesson piece by piece, chatting about life as we go.  I really enjoy it and her.  AND I'm learning a little bit about Peruvial culture and life.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Passport photos

You need some passport photos for a visa.  You don't want to pay $8 to have them done at the photo center.  You want to get proper photos for the lowest cost possible so make them yourself!

Go here for photographer tips, then a tool to size the picture properly:

Then go to this site to make a 4"x6" contact sheet:

Then go to this site to have your 4"x6" printed:

Total cost for four 2"x2" passport photos: $0.19 + tax.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Our highly sought-after item is . . .

. . . our 14 year old beaten-up pop up trailer.
Yet another person stopped in, rang the bell, and asked if we want to sell it.  Nope!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

I have posted this picture a number of times and you'll certainly see it again.  Here is my favorite father--the father of my children.  It is because he was such a terrific father when I met him that I decided I did want to have more children.  We waited a few years, then had three in quick succession.  I'm so happy he doted on my older children as well, giving them another loving, interested adult in their lives.
I love you, Bill!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Out of town activity today

. . . and it was lots of fun!
The parents of some friends of ours have a nice place south of the city and they invited us to come out for the day.  The children swam and swam in the pool while some of the parents also swam and the others sat in the shade chatting and watching the children.

I was worried about my daughter-in-law who had sunscreen on, but is very fair-skinned, so I convinced her to let me bring her a towel to protect her from the sun.
We had a bbq lunch with hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, lots of chips and salsa, then brownies and ice cream for dessert.

Caroline was delighted when one of her friends from Activity Day showed up in an identical swim suit.  I guess her mom shops at Costco too. :-)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shopping the bargains

I made a mini trip to Fry's tonight and picked up a few things.
1 frozen pizza
3 boxes of cereal
2 packages of cream cheese
1 honey mustard
1 bottle of juice
2 Crystal Light
1 package of pepperoni
7 boxes of macaroni and cheese

Total cost: $12.09

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Goodwill shopping

Thursdays the cleaning ladies come and I don't want the girls in the mix.  So Thursdays are our day to be out of the house doing . . . stuff.  We had breakfast out, then swimming lessons.  Next was the library.  We were still a little early so we walked across the parking lot to Goodwill.

My favorite section is the housewares section.  I have one kind of cup I look for, two kinds of mugs, one Corelle dish design, and a silverware pattern.   I seldom find anything, but it's the thrill of the hunt I enjoy.
In the end we got something from the children's clothing section.  Caroline found a pristine GAP sweater that will look really cute as a cardigan this fall.
The best part?  This week blue labels are half off!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Two up, two down

We found two pests today--the first in our bathroom, the second under a pool equipment lid.

I dispatched the first, Bill the second.
Ho hum.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greeting a Mormon missionary at the airport

The son of one of my friends came home from his mission today.  James was preaching the gospel in California for two years and today his mission was officially finished.  He's a nice boy and my girls and I were happy to join his family and friends at the airport when he arrived.
{James isn't actually one of these missionaries.  I forgot my camera today.}
Greeting James at the airport was a milestone for *me* too.  Kevin received his mission call about the same time James did, although Kevin left several months later due to his needing a visa to travel to Brazil.  Now that James is home, Kevin is the *very next* missionary in our ward (congregation) to come home.  I can't exactly say two years has flown by, but I'm a bit shocked to realize he's more than 20 months into his mission and will be home the first week of autumn.  Well, autumn in the northern hemisphere. :-)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just the kind of pictures a missionary mom DOESN'T like to see . . . .

Kevin says he was watching the ground and missed seeing an open overhead garage gate (will have to find out exactly what that means) and this was the result:

What you can't see, because you are looking only at the front of him, is his MULTITUDE of such scars all over his head under his hair.  When he was little he was always falling, hitting things, and cutting his head.  I'll bet he has at least five scars under his hair.

Anyway, this one is a pretty good one.  I hope it heals quickly and without incident.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Meal Plan Sunday

Monday:  Grilled ham and cheese pull-apart sandwich loaf, fresh fruit and veggies [I did this on the grill and we really liked it]

Tuesday:  Old West grilled bean and burger packs, rolls  [I did this one on the grill too and it was a hit.  I substituted a can of black beans for the bbq beans because I didn't have any.]

Wednesday:  Three-bean macaroni salad

Thursday:  Crunchy chicken salad

Friday:  Pizza

Twelve obsolete technologies Americans still use

I came across this article about twelve obsolete technologies Americans still use and enjoyed a walk down memory lane.  I have used all of them except the beeper.

The only one I still use is the fax machine and I do have one.  It is a combination fax machine, photocopier, and printer, so very useful in our home.  We use the fax feature maybe once a month.
I was surprised to read about some of the other technologies that are still selling.  10,000 beepers last year?
And 350,000 Palm Pilots?  That's the one that surprised me the most.
I did have a happy feeling when I saw that there has been a small resurgence in the sales of vinyl LPs.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

It was a good basket today.  I volunteered as usual.  It's funny--this organization has no religious affiliation at all, but 65% of the regular volunteers at our location are LDS, including the two leaders.
Todays' basket included:

2 large packages of grapes (one was a gift for volunteering)
8 bananas
4 yellow bell peppers
6 Roma tomatoes
2 pounds of carrots
fennel bulb
Romaine lettuce
17 small sweet plums
2 butternut squash (one was a gift for volunteering)

Excluding the volunteering items, I think the basket value was about 50% more than I paid.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A magic show!

Now that the girls are out of school I'm paying attention to what is going on at the library and at other places around town that have kid-friendly activities in the summer.

Today we went to a magic and comedy show at the library.  It was an hour long and really fun for the kids as well as the adults.  Caroline was the first of four children picked to be his assistant during the show.  She was delighted beyond excitement and stood up grinning ear to ear.  The first thing the magician told her was that she had to give a bigger smile.  Then told her it needed to be bigger.  Really, that was impossible and he and she both knew it.  Her trick involved red foam balls that appeared and disappeared.

After she helped him he made her a balloon animal--a parrot.

[picture here after I recharge the battery :-) ]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Scorpion hunting

The other night Bill and I were in our room chatting before bed when we heard that shriek from Caroline which means one thing:  "I saw a scorpion."

Bill killed the scorpion which was in the hall outside her bedroom door, but she was pretty freaked out about it (not surprisingly).  The next night he asked her if she wanted to go on a scorpion hunt with him, hoping to desensitize her a little.

She was a little nervous, but went outside with him with the black light to see what they could find.  She told me they killed 8 scorpions along the fence.  The fence is made of concrete block, so it's warm at night and apparently scorpions like that.  Most of the scorpions they killed were on the outside of the fence. 

This is what they look like with the black light:

They didn't take this picture, but this is generally what they saw on the fence.  They didn't see any babies this time, but Bill has in the past.  Nasty, huh?
Guess who is very excited about scorpion hunts now?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Musical instrument petting zoo

One of our local orchestras puts on a petting zoo.  Animals?  No, musical instruments!
They had two kinds of brass instruments (a big hit with the girls), a xylophone, and three of the four orchestra instruments.  That's our orchestra friend at the back left of the picture below.
Both of my twins have taken orchestra at school for the past two years.  Caroline, below, plays the viola.  All three girls are interested in the cello, mostly, I think, because their beloved original piano teacher is also an accomplished cellist.
Sophia's teacher has already been assigned for 4th grade and I know from last year that he'll sign his entire class up for orchestra, despite its being an optional activity. ;-)  Works for me.  There is at least one school-owned cello that I'm hoping Sophia can snag next year to avoid the rental fees, if she does decide to learn to play the cello.

Here they are with the younger brother of the piano teacher.  He's also the son of our orchestra friend.
This event was sponsored by Bookmans, a great used-book store in our city.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New old things

Did you remember these little footies from when you were a child?  I guess I should clarify, "If you were a child in the 1950s or 1960s?"  I remember my mom wore them all the time.  She called them "sockies."

Now that bare legs are in fashion, low socks or foot liners are in fashion again.  Here is the display at Walmart today:
The ones right in the middle that look like bikini bottoms are ones you can wear if you're wearing open-toed shoes.  They think of everything, don't they?  I bought some fairly straightforward cotton ones with a little padding at the ball of the foot.  They are the proper size for my feet instead of the hand-me-down ones I've been wearing for awhile that threaten to cut off the circulation in my heels. :-)

These two little girls love to play a game in just about any store.  It's called, "Hide from Mom, but make sure we're not very far away from her."
I know, I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday goodies

Boy, we sure know how to stretch out our favorite holidays!  Today the girls received a suspiciously lumpy package in the mail from their older sister.

Inside were three envelopes.  Inside each was a pretty birthday card with a nice note, along with a tube of lip gloss. 
[cool recycled/recyclable packaging, huh?]

The girls were delighted.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What do you usually make vs buy?

Or the opposite?  I'm thinking of things that the average homemaker could make or buy fairly easily.
I saw these at the store and they look easy and delicious.  I like Rhodes products.  BUT . . . they were $5 and I can make a batch for the whole family that is about twice as big for less than half the cost.

But they look reeeeally easy and very delicious!