Crinkled Oranges

Saturday, January 7, 2017

So much to catch up on . . .

so I'll just go backwards.

We have enjoyed having Margie here for the week.  She came up for a rest, and that is mostly what she has been doing.  One thing she admired was the Christmas Family Tree that Misty made last year.

So she put together one that is not a Christmas one.

We're not quite sure how she is going to fit the names of her 10 kids, 9 spouses, and 37 grandchildren on it.  The writing will have to be pretty small.  But she inspired me to make some, also.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sweet Sixteen!

Eliza turned 16 years old yesterday.  (I was working on posting her interview last night when Gary's sister, Margie, from Arizona surprised us with a visit.  That was a nice surprise, and she will be staying with us until next Monday)

I am so happy we were able to spend the last week with Eliza.  She truly is "sweet" sixteen.  Very thoughtful, helpful, and kind.

Here is the transcript from her interview.  The questions are from the game "Family Table Topics."

1.  What is an exciting thing thing that has happened this year?  Making it on the Varsity basketball team as a sophomore.

2.  What superhero power do you wish you possessed?  Speed

3. What is your biggest fear or phobia?   Height (falling from it), Feet, and Bees

4, Would you rather time travel fifty years forward or fifty years into the past?   Forward.  Would like to see how everything is.

5.  If you could have a wild animal from anywhere in the world as a pet, which animal would you choose?  Monkey -- cute and smart.

6. What is the hardest part about going to school?  What is the best part?  Worst - waking up in morning.  Best - being with friends.

7.  Which teacher or coach has had the most impact on you and why?  Basketball coach last year (Bryan Scott).  Knows how I am, what to say, how to help, and believes in me.  He is also super fun.

8.  What are your most and least favorite family activities?  Favorite:  Playing games and watching movies.  Least favorite:  FHE

9.  What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?  Ice cream

10. Special talent you wish you had -- played piano better

11:  What is your favorite smell in the whole world?  Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

12.  Favorite TV commercial?  Geico -- with the green gekco.

13.  Would you rather have a larger closet, kitchen, or backyard?  Why?  Back yard.  More space to do stuff.

14.  If you could earn $250 for eating same meal for a month, would you do it?  What would it be?   Yes -- Pizza

15.  If you could take over the garage and do anything you wanted with the space, what would you do?   Make it my room -- with TV, bean bags, ping pong, and pool table,

16.  What is your favorite thing to collect?   Bottles

17.  If you could go on a family vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Cancun Mexico for the beaches.

18. What is your favorite amusement park?  Harry Potter World and the Harry Potter castle ride.

19.  What was your favorite toy as a toddler?  Baby doll and big ceramic dog.

20.  What is your favorite family recipe? Aunt Allison's chocolate chip cookies.

21.  Is there a household chore you actually enjoy?  Sweeping and cleaning up the kitchen.

22.  What is something you own that you love but that others don't?   My Crocs.

Here is a picture of Eliza after she spotted a frowny faced pickle while eating lunch at BYU.

Here we are taking a selfie with Eliza.

 and here we are taking a selfie with Eliza and being photo bombed by Hyrum.

We love you, Eliza, and are so proud of you!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gary is the

best little Christmas elf.

He does very helpful things like put Merry Christmas labels on the water bottles. 

He also steps right up when, during the mid-baking of 6 dozen breadsticks, my oven died.   Yes, died.  Fortunately I was able to send two pans home with my Visiting teachers to bake in their ovens. 

Dead breadsticks!
Then Gary searched for a repairman who gave us the news that it would be $500+ to fix.  Since the oven is at least 12 years old, we went out and searched for a new one.

Gary is also a good little elf because he recognized my very big need to have a "true convection" oven so I can bake 6 dozen cupcakes at one time. 

So there will be no more Christmas baking until the 22nd when we get the new oven. Fortunately the range still works, so I could cook the soup for our neighborhood party today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Light the world day 2-- Honor your Parents

As you can tell, I'm not following the timetable strictly.  But thinking upon them each day has been thought provoking.

To be honest, I have been in somewhat of an attitude funk the last little while.   Or lets just say, everything (including deep thinking) requires more effort and energy than I want to give. I have been looking more at the negative and less at the positive.  So, as I've considered the suggestions for service given each day, I have been much more conscious of my thought processes.   

Remembering, first of all, that true service does not come until the heart is "soft."  What does a soft heart look like to me?  It is almost easier to explain with what it doesn't look like (is that being negative?)  

When you are being judgmental and critical, your heart is not soft.  When you perceive the people around you as obstacles or irritants, your heart is not soft.  When you don't want to put yourself out for others because it is inconvenient, uncomfortable, or takes too much time, your heart is not soft.   When you are so self absorbed (even if that self absorption is negative), that you can't see beyond yourself to see other's needs or problems, your heart is not soft.  Feeling envious or tearing others down because of their successes or accomplishments does not stem from a soft heart.   

Now back to "Honor Your Parents."

Mom and Dad have been gone for more than 20 years and Gary's mom for more than 15 years.  Yet, there are many ways to honor them.  I feel I am honoring them when I nurture relationships with the people that were important to them. When I document their lives and do all I can to pass on their legacy of love.  When I try to connect the generations before and after them. When I am being my "best self" I feel I am honoring them.   On the other hand, when I feel I am not being my best self, I can hear Mom telling me, "You're just like your Dad and too hard on yourself."  So, in that case, not being too hard on myself is also honoring my parents.

In my Patriarchal blessing, which I received when I was 16, my family is mentioned in a beautiful way.
"The Lord is pleased at this moment to inform you that you were born of goodly parents.  Always remember this and be eternally grateful for them; for they have provided for you a lovely home.  In the days ahead, be willing to learn from your parents and from your brothers and sister.  And contribute to them of your time and talents likewise, that you may help in your own way to preserve the family line."
That paragraph from my blessing has been an inspiration to me.   Mom and Dad demonstrated that principle well by their service, loyalty, and devotion to family.   As have my siblings and Gary's siblings.

During this last week I felt like I was honoring them as I worked with my brother, Gary, organizing pictures for his history.  As I visited with Dad's nieces and my cousins.  As I worked on a document updating the Hall family cousin information.  As we decorated the graves for Christmas.


(I made the wreaths were made from the boughs of the downed Blue Spruce, which made them more meaningful to me)

I am not particularly comfortable making a list of "good turns" as President James Faust once called small acts of service.  And they are very small things.  But, these are the small things that help me feel that I am honoring my parents.



Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Resolve

for the Christmas Season.
Luke Chapter 10:
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Of all the people in the scriptures, Martha is the one I identify with more than any other.  I am definitely a Martha. No doubt about it.

That is not inherently bad, and I find joy in doing "Martha" things.   But I know I usually do them in excess and at the expense of the "more needful things."

So I have a new resolve.  I've been interested to check out the new initiative that the Church has put out for this Christmas season.

LIGHTtheWORLD Since a new star first appeared above Bethlehem, Christmas has been a season of light, reminding us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Together, we can celebrate His birth by making the world a brighter place. All we have to do is follow Him—His life, His example, and His teachings. In doing so, we can help #LIGHTtheWORLD.

I'm excited about this, and a little hesitant, too.  I really haven't looked at what each day is, and I hope I can fulfill them.   Every day leading up to Christmas there will be daily inspiration and suggestions of how to Light up the World.

Here is tomorrows, or I guess it is actually today's since it is past midnight.

Dec 1:  Jesus lifted other's burdens, and so can you.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

And there she goes . . .


With only 1 fatality (or tree cutters with a sense of humor)

Friday, November 18, 2016

I am feeling

High anxiety and sadness and anticipation saying goodbye to me "little" friend.