Past “Today”s – Episode 2

THE MOST RECENT DAY IS ON TOP, in other words: These events read chronologically backwards.
Wednesday – Pile of Goodness

– Blue, red, super moon. SO COOL.
– Studied the scriptures for 2 + hours. Had to make myself stop.
– I AM GOING TO START A PAINTING, no matter what! and go to the temple and do some visiting teaching and shop for our trip to Santa Fe for Papa’s burial and sign help someone open a shopping account with Melaleuca ($1 memberships) and make bread.

Tuesday – Garage Makeover

View from the carport

– Tutored by Youtube, I finished the shelf for the van luggage carrier (the whole thing I made with supplies we already had). Cleaned the whole entire garage.
– Papa’s viewing. Sad and Happy. I love my family! Thank goodness for Heavenly Father’s Plan. What happen’s after we die? VIDEO
– Kay (I am glad she likes being home) and then J.D.’s girlfriend came over. Sponge Bob (fav episode with Squid-ward’s band), with oranges and zucchini bread (our late-night snack though only Curt and I will eat it).

Monday – Lots

The abandoned piano that my piano students and I pushed down the street, around the corner, and down the street.

– Spoke in church yesterday. TALK IS HERE
– Finished the quilt in the garage. (Clark’s college bedspread completed 2 years too late. Oh well, he will use it when he gets back from his mission in 2 years.)
– Moved the piano against the garage wall. I LOVE looking at it, but there is no way it is worth the trouble of restoring it. Duncan surprising thinks that since we went to SO much trouble getting to our house (including scratching the sidewalks and street) that I BETTER keep it. He even said it is okay if it takes me 2 years. I don’t get him sometimes.
– Started the hanging shelf for the van luggage carrier.
– Clark made it safely to Aguascalientes.

Thursday – MOrNinG

– Didn’t take off my make-up before going to bed, not a rare occurrence.
– Kids leave the house one at a time, about an hour apart. This causes a drawn out morning for me, but some one-on-one time with each kid.
– Breakfast: Adam – bowl of canned peaches, Curt – bowl of cereal, J.D. scrambled eggs with gouda cheese and toast.
– Lunches: Adam and Curt – frozen burritos, baby carrots, and Trisket crackers. Anything tastes good if you are hungry enough. I am glad my boys are usually hungry enough. J.D. makes his own lunch – wanted leftover lentil soup from last night. It turned out okay.

Wednesday – Drawing to a Close

– Papa (on the right) went into the hospital a week ago with pneumonia. After finding many other serious health issues and experiencing a rapid decline, he was moved into hospice today. You know, we all wonder what the end of life will be like for ourselves and our loved ones. The truth is that it is different for everyone. Papa is very loved and and will always be loved. He is a trooper! I am so impressed with Gram, who has been strong through some sudden hard decisions. It has been so impressive to see his 4 good looking, smart, successful, supportive children gather together.
– When choosing a hospice place, don’t spend too much time. Find something that the loved one and family will be comfortable in and make the move so that the patient can get comfortable sooner than later.
– Humanity is good. There have been many thoughtful words said, prayers uttered, and kind acts done to support and lift our family during this tender time. Thank you!

Tuesday –

– We calculated we haven’t had a stay-at-home, traditional family home evening for over 2 months!
– So, yesterday (we usually try to have FHE on Monday nights) we didn’t let anything get in our way, arranging other important visits and obligations around an evening together as a family.
– Agenda: Opening song (Adam chose “Called to Serve”), opening prayer (by Duncan), joke (by me: see below), share a talent (by Adam), lesson (by Curt:Why choosing to use your time on good hobbies will build your testimony), closing song “I Know that Jesus Lives” (by Duncan), closing prayer (by Adam), activity (by me: an episode of “Scooby Doo”), and treat (picked by Curt: chocolate ice cream)

– This is the only joke I can ever remember:
“Knock Knock”
Who’s there?
Alison who?
“Alison to the radio”
NOTE: Since our FHE chart is out-of-date (Kay, J.D., and Clark are on their own) Dunc is J.D. and I am Kay and we all choose for Clark’s assignments.

Monday – Perspective


Thursday – We survived the Hawaiian Missile Crisis 🙂

Black suit

Turquoise suit

– We were in Maui during what is now termed “The Hawaiian Missile Crisis” when someone in the Hawaiian government accidentally sent the alert to all people’s cell phones in the whole state an alarming message. “Ballisic missile threat to Hawaii, seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” It took 38 minutes for them to retract the message, in the mean time we were gathering the kids, grabbing water, and looking for a basement at the hotel. There was no hysteria at our hotel, only about 1/2 of everyone was paying attention to the message and didn’t know if it was real, but other hotels acted quickly and set off the Tsunami alarms and gathered crying scared people into the conference rooms until the message was declared a mistake. It was all very interesting and a good conversation piece. We went on with our fun day at the beach as soon as we got word that the whole thing was a mistake. Of course, the bomb WOULD have been coming from North Korea. No REAL threat yet, however.
– Adam and Curt are SO tan. Hawaii POST HERE.– Kay and Chuck stayed here at home with J.D. while we were gone to take care of Sally. J.D. didn’t want to and Sally is actually doing quite well!
– Papa is in the hospital with pneumonia. Duncan and I went there yesterday to say “Hi.” He is grumpy and sleepy (meaning Papa … and Duncan, but mostly Papa:).
– I cleaned the whole house and edged and mowed the front yard yesterday. (Catch up)
– We are back into a routine.
– Clark’s weekly missionary email came today!Wednesday – Pinch me now

– I’m going to Hawaii tomorrow! STORY HERE.
– Shopping for suits yesterday was very depressing. My legs look awful, I couldn’t find a swimming suit that would cover them, but I tried. These suits are as “grandma” as they come. I did find a cute cover up. I hope I don’t regret buying it. It was only $22 so I don’t know why I am so worried. Man Alive! I have the hardest time spending money on myself.
– I have a billion things to do today, amongst which is getting a pedicure (eeek, another $20) and sending a box (of things he forgot) to Clark in Mexico. That will probably cost an arm and a leg (less to show my spider veins on, I guess) but I’ll spend anything for my missionary.

Monday – Walks = Happiness

– See? Even Kay’s shirt says so.
– Notice the school in the background? We walked around her current neighborhood this morning, which happens to be the neighborhood Dunc and I lived in for over 6 years as newley weds and young parents. This school is where Kay started kindergarten! That was 20 years ago. The school has been completely leveled and built anew, but carries the same name and location, thus the memories…which are mostly good. 🙂
– Sally is our calm, sweet lab sheepdog mix. We love her!
– P.S. I STILL haven’t worked on the quilt I said I would work on last week. I am tempted to take out the ties and start over. LONG STORY.

Friday – See the resemblance?

– Mom invited any of us around town to come over to visit and eat oranges off the tree. The citrus in AZ is the best, even better than CA and FL, in my REAL opinion.
– Our orange trees in the backyard are growing so slow – 5 years or so old, and still VERY small – but Mom’s (which are older of course) are HUGE and produce bushels and bushels of oranges every winter. Christmas time coincides with the beginning of orange season here in the Valley of the Sun.
– These are 3 of my sisters and I. I am the oldest. From left to right (if oldest of the eleven is #1 and youngest is #11) #8, #1, #6, #10 with chubby adorable Nils on her lap.

Thursday – Just Keeping it REAL guys, just keepin’ it real.

– Went on a walk this a.m. with Dunc, but still haven’t showered or put on make-up…it is 5 p.m.
– The Christmas decorations are taken down, but the camera angle makes our house look way bigger and cleaner than it really is.
– Curt is cute and buff and bored and still wearing the clothes he slept in last night. That’s cool.

Wednesday – President Monson, a man of the people, a man of God.
– President Monson, the world’s prophet, passed away last night at 10:01 p.m. in his home. He was 90 years old. LEARN MORE about this consecrated man of God.
– Today I am going to study my Book of Mormon, do some work on the quilt I have put off for 2 years which is currently set up in my garage, and spend some time with Kay, who has not been feeling well.
– I just made my monthly Melaleuca order. It seems that I order very early each month because I love and need the products so I wait impatiently for the beginning of the month to arrive so I can place an order. Today I ordered antibacterial hand wash (triclosan free), delicious cough drops (all natural with Melalueca/tea tree oil), probiotics, and more.
– Here are my 2018 goals.

Tuesday – Back in the swing of things

– Baptisms at the temple with my younger boys and nieces and nephews. So cool that priests can baptize in the temple now!
– I got the Christmas decorations down and put back in the attic. I even threw a few things away. 🙂
– A close friend is suffering right now from addiction and other bad decisions. I am sad for her and her kids. Interestingly, have decided to not be involved in her complicated life right now. It is hard not to help, but in her current case, my continued assistance would be enabling her too much.

Monday – Alldredge New Year’s Hike (simple, dirty, and best)


After the climb – it wasn’t very strenuous

My mom with her pack of homegrown oranges is winner of our firewood search.

Hotdogs roasting on a open fire…

My nephews on the hike down.

Friday – Feed My Starving Children

– Service builds faith. “As you exercise your time and talents in service, your faith will grow and your doubts will wane” (Gordon B. Hinckley).
– Service is fun, especially at “Feed My Starving Children” where in two hours, the team of volunteers packaged food for many many children in the Phillipines. It sounds grand, but was SO EASY for me to sign up Adam, Curt and I. We signed up just 4 hours before we drove over to fill the slot we chose. We are so blessed to be close to a packaging location. A small 5 or 6 year old volunteer prayed over the pallet with us all. It was an articulate, stirring prayer of gratitude and concern for those in need all around the world. I can’t wait to go again soon.
– Service shows love to God and fellowmen. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (King Benjamin, Mosiah 2:17, Book of Mormon.)

Thursday – True Principle: Getting away with your spouse rejuvenates a marriage relationship

– Dunc and I went on a trip (he planned the whole thing) to Palm Springs, California.
– This is our interesting breakfast at the unique “Rendevous Hotel.”
– Time. Just us – even though he is weird sometimes and I am weird most-of-the-time, it is easier to over look those things when there aren’t the distractions of everyday life and it is JUST US.

Wednesday – We’re Out of Here!

– Duncan and I had decided that we would celebrate if I got a full-time job as a seminary teacher AND we would celebrate if I DIDN’T make it. AS it turns out, I didn’t so after participating in the one year training/application process, I DO feel rejected, but you know – there are a lot of advantages to NOT having a full time career, so we decided to CELEBRATE! By-the-way, I AM SO THANKFUL for the rare opportunity I DID have to work as a student teacher for a semester and for all the other classes, meetings, and years I spent teaching seminary as my calling (3 1/2 years total). I have learned, experienced and been blessed so very very much!
– Driving back and forth is some of the funnest part of an outing because of talking in the car. I LOVE IT!
– This is the view from our car on the drive to CA with San Jacinto (left) and San Gorgonio (right) of the San Gabriel Mountains (California range).

Tuesday – A Bunch of Nothing

– Eating leftovers
– Forgetting about the messes
– Enjoying each other while relaxing on the day after Christmas

Monday – Christmas!

– Our celebration was directed toward the birth of Jesus Christ than to Santa this year. Simpler, sweeter, more satisfying.
– Kay and Chuck spent the night last night making it so fun to wake up in the same house as them this morning.
– Clark was missed, but we got to talk to him at the CCM (Mission Training Center in Mexico City) for 30 minutes. Even though it has only been 6 days since we said “Good-bye” we LOVED talking to him. Here is his first email to us.
CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT video about “The Nativity” of Christ. CLICK HERE FOR A THE FULL movie of Jesus Christ’s Life. CLICK HERE for an article about Jesus Christ’s birth.

Friday – What is a midlife crisis?

Is this it?

– No more seminary
– Clark is gone on his mission
– Christmas is around the corner
– Naps, movies, and going on trips sound so much better than vacuuming, organizing, and washing

Tuesday – How many Grandkids do you want?

– My mom and dad had 11 kids. They have 56 grandkids now and more to come. A few years ago, Mom and Dad had them all line up in order of entering our family. The t-shirts have their number on it. My kids are # 2,3,7,14 and 28. Down the line are my brother’s kids that joined our family when he married Sarah. There have been 5 or more added since then. Oh how we love each one. Last year my mom and dad had the goal of taking each out to ice cream on their birthday for some individual time with Grandma and Grandpa. They did it! and I teased my dad that he just wanted 56 ice cream cones. He laughs and says, “yep!” but I know better. Grandma and Grandpa love their grandkids, each and everyone as individuals.
– I don’t care how many grandkids I am blessed with. That gift is a while down the road, but I am going to be an awesome grandma. I have great examples to follow.
– One of my grandmothers is still alive and doing very well. I just spoke to her tonight. At 96 she is spunky with a wonderful memory. She was the one, besides my parents and siblings, that I missed the most while I was on my mission. Here is a picture of her at Kay’s Wedding.

Monday – 25th Anniversary TODAY!

“Hold My Hand”
By Kristin Shaeffer

Once upon a time he met her.
He gave his heart and she gave too.
‘Mid tears of joy and rings of laughter,
They were wed as young hearts do.

“Hold my hand, I’ll walk beside you.
Our love can weather any storm.
‘Til the clouds of life are lifted,
Our love will keep us safe from harm.”

Well, life enfolds not as you plan it.
Yes, there were bumps along the way.
At times they felt that they were sinkin’
When times were rough they had to say.

“Hold my hand, I’ll walk beside you.
Our love can weather any storm.
‘Til the clouds of life are lifted,
Our love will keep us safe from harm.”

Years have passed, love’s still around them
They are the envy of the town.
The people ask, “How did you do it?”
“We don’t give up when life is down”

“Hold my hand, I’ll walk beside you.
Our love can weather any storm.
‘Til the clouds of life are lifted,
Our love will keep us safe from harm.”

“So many joys are all around us.
God truly hears and answers prayers
We’ve come this far, let’s keep it goin’
Our hopes and dreams we freely share.”

“Hold my hand, I’ll walk beside you.
Our love can weather any storm.
‘Til the clouds of life are lifted,
Our love will keep us safe from harm.”

They should live forever always.
And all their lofty dreams come true.
The sweetest memories of their lifetime
Will be their love that grew and grew.

“Hold my hand, I’ll walk beside you.
Our love can weather any storm.
‘Til the clouds of life are lifted,
Our love will keep us safe from harm.”

Friday – Talk to your Kids

– Did you know we are fighting a battle against Satan? And one of his most effective tools is pornography, a wide spread epidemic all around the world. HERE is a GREAT discussion on HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY.
– We have been actively fighting this fight. I wish we had talked to our kids about the birds and the bees earlier and more frequently. Curiosity is a driving factor in young children to search out inappropriate matter. I wish we had protected our family with filters sooner. We now have 2 forms of filters that are helping guard us from the enemy. I still have improved so much in this area.
Netnanny is a good heavy duty filter for a device, so not matter where are kids are, the content they view on their own device is filtered.
Clean Router is a good filter of the router. So, when our kids are at home – or their friends, for that matter, their searches and content are filtered.

Wednesday – House for sale

– This is the kids playing football in my mom and dad-in-law’s backyard in Las Cruces. We have so many wonderful memories visiting them there. A new era begins, they are moving to be closer to us! and their house in New Mexico is for sale.
– Tonight we walked through their new house. It is smaller, which is a good thing, and fits their style. We baked Papa’s favorite, peanut butter cookies, for a house warming present.
– The missionaries came over for dinner tonight (tacos). They were so polite and fun to talk to. They give service and a message of peace everywhere they go. Thank you Elders and Sisters!
– Curt has swimmers ear. 🙁 Home remedies are up for the test. 2 drops of equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar in each ear twice a day has been painful. What do I do?

Tuesday – Trusting the Lord

– Went straight to classes on the Gospel Topic Essays this morning. This an amazing resource for deeper historical and doctrinal understanding.
– I had to talk to my dad about some things that have been on my mind. I felt so much better after talking it out and after following his advise to read 2 Nephi 4. I had a spiritual experience as I sought forgiveness and charity.

27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?

32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

Monday – Heart attacked!

– I was released as a stake called teacher yesterday, just in time to start school at another high school as a seminary student teacher. If I didn’t have the replacement position, I would feel completely lost, similar to the feeling of getting home from a mission. I am so grateful that the Lord trusts me to continue to improve and do my best to teach the gospel via the Holy Ghost.
– Duncan and J.D. are doing fine. They are on their way home via Provo.
– Clark bought his umpteen gillionth thing off Craig’s list – another electronic cord needed for composing/recording music via his computer. His 19th birthday is coming up. What do I get a kid who is about to leave on his mission, but that is still kind of fun?

traveling through (a place) en route to a destination.
“they came to Europe via Turkey”
by way of; through.
“they can see the artists’ works via a camera hookup”
by means of.
“a file sent via electronic mail”
synonyms: through, by way of;

Thursday – Laundry Day

– I took this picture with my hands in the right places so you can’t see the piles of laundry behind me.
– A few of my sisters and I had a funny email conversation about peach fuzz that I hope to share with you later. I am waiting for their permission to post it first. Question: Do you eat your peaches with the peeling on or off?

– Duncan has been hiking a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail last week and this week. He and J.D. hiked through Lassen Volcano National Park and close to Mt Shasta! When Duncan is gone, quite honestly, I get more done. I feel guilty for saying this, but it is nice every once-and-a-while to have full control. I know that marriage is an important part of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness. I am following this plan, so – like you – I work hard on my marriage. It takes time and patience. I can be independent, but I don’t want to be….especially when it comes to laundry (and a few other things).

Wednesday – Catch Up

– Kay’s Wedding Photos are posted HERE.
– Today I went on a walk with my neighbor, whom I often tell too much to, but we always have a good visit while exercising. I told her about Walt and Miles. Oh how I love those boys! (We will miss you both until we meet again in Heaven.)
– Then I made sure Curt got breakfast (cold cereal this morning) before riding his bike with his friend to swim team. They have a back way that has less traffic, even though it takes longer.
– I went to the chiropractor for the first time since Kay’s wedding (My neck has been feeling so much better).
– I exchanged the very over-ripe watermelon that I bought and opened last night for a much better one at Fry’s. No charge, just a disappointing and a nuisance.
– I read my scriptures (I’m in Helaman) and wrote in my journal and dozed off… We didn’t go to bed until 12:30 last night! – watching a movie after setting off a few popping fireworks the night of 4th of July. The movie was a Japanese animated production, “As the Wind Rises.” My kids are crazy about these movies, which we have been borrowing from another neighbor.
– Then, Curt and I went to visit my sister, whose boys were Curt’s divergent for a couple hours. I read Gospel Topic Essays at the library around the corner from Lori’s house while they played Legos and explored the hill next to their house.
– After that I met Clark at the temple. Curt watched videos at the visitor center while Clark and I served in the baptistry for about an hour. On the way home I dropped off a long table back to the Westbrook House, from the wedding, and bought some olive oil at John and Sarah’s Urban Farm Store.
– When I got home I walked with Curt to another neighbor’s house to find out if they needed Curt to collect their paper for them while they are on vacation. They already arranged Cheri to do it… and then cleaned the kitchen. Curt and I had left-overs (potato salad, watermelon, corn on the cob, chips and cake). Our twosome seemed so small, since Clark went to Kay’s and Chuck’s to watch a movie and eat there tonight.
– After the dishes were done, I painted a little on some chairs I am refinishing and then Curt and I started reading Gordon Kimball’s biography! Curt needs to realize how fortunate he is (too much complaining about inconveniences such as work and waiting lately!) When A. Gordon Kimball (my great-grandfather) was 10 years old his family was asked to move to Thatcher, AZ from SLC, UT so that Andrew Kimball (my great-great grandfather) could be stake president there. It took 3 days on the train to travel the distance! The little boys were excited to see Indians. They were thirsty, but especially upon looking out the train door at the dry barren “wasteland” of the Arizona desert. This was not THAT long ago, and yet we have so many conveniences in 2017!
– Time for bed (EEEeek! It’s 11:15 p.m.).

Wednesday – Cucumber season

– Easy way to make dill pickles: Mrs. Wages: Quick Process Pickle Mix. Follow the directions on the package. I bought this at a Kroger’s grocery store and my Aunt Kathy has become famous in her town with this exact method. I am brave to try it with Armenian cucumbers, but I bet they will turn out great like the ones I made out of little garden pickles a couple years ago. These Armenian cucumbers are young and fresh and are easier to grow in our area. The process time is only 15 minutes! One pack of mix makes 7 quarts.

Thursday – Without contacts

– Look at how close I have to be to the computer screen to read the words after I take my contacts out! Man Alive!
– Kay’s wedding was wonderful! We are going to get the photos from photographer this weekend! I am only going to post those that Kay says I can and it must be after she has seen them too. Here are some from Facebook.
– Seminary summer training is amazing! I feel like I am in the MTC again: Out numbered by a ton of clean cut friendly men in suits, studying the scriptures, singing hymns together… Today we even played some BBall and frisbee in the gym and hallways of the stake center. I can’t believe I am this blessed. To be learning what I am learning is a dream come true. What an honor. I don’t get tired of it, not at all.
– My twin grand nephews were born a week ago. Walt weighs 1 pound 13 ounces. Miles weighs 1 pound 1 ounce. Their story is heart warming and is still tender to us. They are stable, but have ups and downs every day. Please keep them in your prayers. God is in charge.

Friday – Gotta

– Gotta pick up my prescription for my oral rinse. You DO NOT want to look at my gums.
– Gotta find the fabric for my dress. Isn’t this one cute? THIS is my pattern, which I paid three times as much for at JoAnn’s ON SALE! I am so confused! When do you buy on-line and when do you buy in person?
– Gotta buy a new tent for our camping trip next week to the Grand Canyon. (We absolutely WORE our last 4 out!) I know we have a wedding coming up, but we HAVE to celebrate school being out too, don’t we?

We work, we play and laugh hard everyday.

– I’ll make the boutonnieres on the highway while Duncan chats.
– Gotta pick up the boys shirts and grey slacks today. THE TIES CAME IN, which I bought on-line, and I love them.
– Gotta place our order at Ranch Market. Their chips win in the crunch, flavor, and price category.
– Gotta clean my bedroom! WHAT A WRECK. (Dunc’s been out of town for a few days.)

While the cat is away the mice do play.

Another Thursday has come around already again.

My brother Spencer makes these cool instructional videos on Youtube that are so handy and helpful, even for driving instructions to a family event or what lures to buy for the summer fishing trip. I want to learn how to post simple instructions! “The wave of the future is Youtube and Amazon,” Guys.

Do you know how much I have spent on Amazon lately?! It is sick, but I am sure I am not the only one. I forecast the closure of many traditional stores on the corner – except The Chef Store, which is about to help me correct a few mistakes I made by buying things for Kay’s reception (sight unseen) on the internet.

LOL> I am on a rampage. Don’t mind me.

Janet (my sister who had 2 weddings last summer)! How did you do this? The purchasing power of the mother of the bride or groom is astronomical.

I think I’ll make a youtube video of “WHAT NOT TO BUY before you see it in real life.” AND “Talk your kid into getting married. It is really fun to spend money.” Spencer, Do you have a video on: “Budgeting for post wedding therapy?” Brent, my brother-in-law that is my dentist, just diagnosed me for an oral fungal something-or-other, caused by stress. I need a video on fixing that too.


How on earth do you estimate how many envelopes to buy, chairs to borrow, and plastic forks to order? We have sent out over 375 invitations and I STILL have TONS of envelopes left over.

Want one?

– A friend of mine recently sent me a message that she is concerned about her step-son. Here is her message (names and specifics are changed):
“Hi again. I need some of your thoughts for/on my son. He is trying to tell Richard that he doesn’t have a testimony. But he has never actually said that to me. So I am going to make scripture study about him. Have him actually verbalize his questions & then have him teach me the answers. Good idea? Bad idea? Also, are the kids reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover during the summer? And last request – my son, Matt, is trying to not go on the camp out with the boys. Matt has now got his mom asking Richard if he’s being forced to go. Oh brother. Can you ask Adam to “pressure” him to go? He needs to go but he’s looking for a way to be lazy all summer. Not happening on my watch. LOL.”
– Hmm. It is the scriptures – the IRON ROD – The Book of Mormon, specifically, that builds testimony. That is a key to anyone building or maintaining their testimony.
– The next thing that comes to my mind is that you and Richard have a God given stewardship over Matt so you will receive inspiration as you pray and counsel over his needs and your concerns. Keep that up! I think that your idea of verbalizing the questions and having him answer his own questions from the scriptures is wonderful! You are doing a great job.
– Third, the Lord is our example in parenting, right? He never gives up. He invites, not controls. He DOES withhold privileges, and he chastens, but He loves no matter what. So, respecting agency when they are under age is tricky. We want to keep the balance between choice and rule because we don’t want them to rebel. Let him choose as many things as possible: what is for dinner sometimes, what new shirt he buys, what rides to ride at an amusement park, so when you have to say whats what, he won’t feel as pushed around. You are already doing this, I am sure. He ultimately will choose for himself and you will want to accept his decision. Parents can’t take it personally, though it is the natural tendency when a child chooses differently that they would. Each person has the right to choose. It seems that Matt has more going against him with his mom opposing value system, but the Lord is VERY mindful of the situation and knew it would happen and STILL placed Matt in THIS family. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Matt will succeed in the way we want him to, but it is Matt’s test and his score.
– Lastly, we all want to do our part in bringing to pass the eternal life of our children and friends! Your support, teaching and even, requirement that he go to EFY and camp outs and seminary are part of being a courageous parent. Listen, be sensitive, understand him, respect him, but YOU are still the PARENTS – until he turns eighteen – YOU set the rules. Each situation is so individual. Be prayerful continually. Adam also has a responsibility as a quorum member, as do I, Matt’s seminary teacher, and will do all we can for him. THANK YOU for the ideas and heads up. As far as the Book of Mormon is concerned and summer reading: I still need to talk to my team teacher about the summer challenge. We HAVE talked about reading the Book of Mormon in 24 hours later in the summer as a seminary class before school starts. The laurels in the ward did it recently and had an amazing experience. They WILL still need to read the Book of Mormon next year as daily scripture study, even if they read it in the summer because we want the words of God to be fresh in their minds while we study them in seminary. We are suppose to read The Book of Mormon everyday anyway, so you can’t go wrong either way. I love Matt. I will continue to pray for inspiration concerning him as far as my stewardship allows. You are doing a wonderful wonderful job as step-mom. He is so blessed!

Shshshsh 🙂

– Everyone is asleep still (I am cleaning out a drawer) and I want to quickly share some quotes and ideas I have been saving on random “to do” lists that I need to throw away.
– “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – Timothy 1:7
– “How has Christ saved you today?” – Delene Seaman
– “You have sought after things that are good. We all want happiness. Some look for it through food, alcohol, drugs, a shiny truck, a donut, or media elaborations. ‘ Happiness is most achieved through the teachings of Jesus Christ.’ Marriages and families are the order of heaven. – Pres. Uchdtorf Charity leads us to do good, seek the good in others, and to serve others.” – I can’t remember
– “I want to recognize the Savior when He come and [family research and temple work] wlil help me do it.” – Delene Seaman
– To distractions: “Let it go” – Terra’s Buddhist priest
– Read Women of Conviction
– Peace and Harmony in my Home: play classical music in the morning, personal scripture study first, family prayer morning and night, healthy snacks, keep kids accountable for their chores and piano practicing, set aside quiet time for all to read, visit the library often, swimming and other activities, scouting, games, DINNER TOGETHER with a little lesson to share in conversation, family scripture study every night, FAMILY HOME EVENING, sing around the piano often, read the Ensign, New Era and Friend, attend the temple, FRIDAY NIGHT DATE, and regular family councils.


– Kay and Chuck’s engagement photos turned out great. You’ll see them at the reception, if you are coming. What a handsome couple. We are getting very excited to celebrate with all our family and friends Kay is mixing traditional with original. She has always been full of surprises.
– Did you know you can do a wedding register with Amazon? It is SO cool. Just hover the curser over “account and lists,” click on “find a list or registry” and search the names of the couple that is getting married. Very cool.

– My testimony of marriage was strengthened at my friend’s funeral yesterday.
– Her husband took care of her throughout her disease, honoring their marital vows to the end. What a wonderful example to all of us.
– At the services I grew to love her and her family even more as I listened to an honorable life-story given lovingly and articulately by her daughter and other strong sermons of faith and truth by priesthood leaders who were close to her.

Wednesday – Wedding plans are coming along

– I keep all my wedding TO DO lists and receipts in this yellow folder. Just because I am trying to stay organized.
– Kay and I are going to watch Bridal Wars (only PG:), when we have a few minutes. We might have to wait until her college semester is over. Busy times are good times.
– When Duncan and I were engaged, Ron and Bertie Bowles bought us a trusted book: The Act of Marriage. I have been so so grateful that we read this book (me first privately and then Duncan privately) before we got married. It is important information for every new married couple.


– Here are Curt and Adam looking for Easter eggs around our library, everyone’s favorite room in our house.
– Today I am in Jacob chapter 7. Have you been reading the Book of Mormon this year still? One of my favorites: “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God” (Jacob 2:17-18, The Book of Mormon).
– A missionary I served with on my mission in Dallas, TX had a stepson die yesterday. He was 23, a return missionary, and from what I can tell very amazing young man. I am sure that, though he will be painfully missed here on earth, he is very happy in the service of God on the other side of the veil. Thank goodness for our understanding of The Plan of Salvation.
– We have so much to be grateful for, especially the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which resulted in each of our sure resurrection. He over came death! Like Him, we will all live again.

…Even if you are walking away from your dead car all by yourself on the shoulder of the freeway.

Thursday – LIKE I SAID, a lesson in humility
– Today I ran out of gas and coasted off the freeway to a slow sorry stop on the off ramp. I prayed and tried and tried again, but no power. BLAST! So, I turned on the hazard lights and started speed walking to the nearest gas station. No one stopped to ask how they could help and I was so glad that the weather was good and that I was in a city. An hour and 10 minutes later I was putting a gallon of gasoline in the van from a $15 red plastic canister. Now we have three of these in our garage. I officially know that I have too much on my mind!
– I am seriously going to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory foods. I found 1 pound of quinoa for $3.00 today. Not bad. Avacados, here I come.
– My day is gone. Why does grocery shopping have to take so long?

Wednesday – A More Healthy Me

– Nutrition has been underrated. Is that possible? I want to know. I am learning that diet effects my mood, thyroid and joints from a few professionals right now. One of them is Dr. Kelly Brogan. HERE is a FREE webinar.
– I have failed on many green smoothies but eat every drop. (Seriously – you have to chew my smoothies because I have a regular blender.) Apricots (canned), whole (peeled) oranges, frozen bananas, and beet greens for instance. Not bad. Now THIS sounds delicious:

“The Kelly Brogan Smoothie”
½ cup frozen organic cherries or other berries
8 ounces coconut water, or filtered water
3 tablespoons collagen hydrolysate (This is a protein base, which I will have to look for. I doubt they carry it at Fry’s.)
1 tablespoon sprouted nut butter or sunflower seed butter (I will probably never buy this, so I’ll just skip it.)
3 large pastured egg yolks
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 to 2 tablespoons grass-fed ghee (I have no idea what this is.)
1 to 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Note: Collagen hydrolysate is a protein food supplement high in the amino acids glycine, proline, and lycine. It comes as a dry powder.

Tuesday – Kay’s Engaged!

– I didn’t cry, I just jumped and jumped for joy. And then I jumped some more.
– Last night I DID have a melt down – not crying, just upset – for no good reason at all. Well, maybe it was because I am feeling emotional – My DAUGHTER IS GETTING MARRIED! (I am giving up my baby Kay and whatever control I still have over her life – which is very little). She is ready for this and Chuck is going to be a great partner for her. PLUS!… a substitute has been called to assist me in teaching seminary. She is fantastic! Still, I feel like I am giving up control again. Rendering control is a good thing, except it is hard. I can see why full-time teachers are asked to be in class as often as humanly possible, because consistency, bonding and investment makes a cohesive seminary class. Back to the main reason I am feeling emotional: Everyone is asking a ton about Kay’s wedding plans. She JUST got engaged! AND the details are up to her. … Kay hasn’t told me much yet. Maybe being the mother-of-the-bride is a good opportunity to work on being humble. Actually, I think everyday of my life is an exercise in being humble. (sigh)
– Dunc is the one I needed last night, to calm me down by listening and understanding. He is “The One That I Want!” (Love! THIS! recording of Donny and Olivia Newton John 🙂 Oh ya!
– Curt’s black eye is gone just in time for him to cut up his knee on new graveled asphalt. Thank you Chuck for being his medic on that one.

Monday – Mother Hen

Mine for Today

I woke up this morning thinking of Nils. Last night, at my mom’s 70th surprise birthday party, I got to hold my sister’s one month old baby. She asked me to wash my hands first, good idea. I knew he was in between feedings and so my chance was short. He is such a big guy, I took for granted how young he was and soon remembered to not move him around too much. I got him against me, with his little head on my right shoulder. I love patting their little buns. I got him to burp – REJOICE! Those burps are golden. Next, the multi-tasker that I am, I went over to say “Hello” to Barb, who was one of many guests I hadn’t seen for a long time. I pulled Nils out and down to look at both of us and Alison swooped right over. I thought of how a hen is so protective of her chicks and understandably so, Alison was coming over to supervise what I was exposing her baby to.

This morning I thought and thought about this. Did Alison not trust me with the baby? I can hardly get to a destination without at least one u-turn, I may or may not have make-up on, and I am working on about a gazillion things to be better at. STILL, there is nothing more important to Alison (nor I, actually) than the baby. Alison is such a wonderful mom. Think about all the sacrifice over the last 10 months that she has gone through to make sure he is whole, healthy, and actually perfect in every way. She has eaten purposefully, exercised, slept, read, over worked – (with 3 other boys 2, 4, and 5, you can only expect exhaustion) and planned, prayed and prepped for this little one’s path in life to be the best a prince could ask for. Alison, mother extraordinaire, has every right to over see his aunt’s overzealous exchanges with her precious treasure. I wish I had been more careful, now. Nils is a king in the making.

Tuesday – Being “Mom!” is Hard

– Recently a friend of mine asked how to manage the overwhelming duties of a mom and still feel healthy as an individual. I am composing some ideas in response. In the meantime, Here are two excellent articles:
Dear Mama, Satan Would Move Heaven and Earth to Keep You From Reading This Letter
This is What Happens When Satan Steals Your Motherhood


Its been real.

25 thoughts on “Past “Today”s – Episode 2”

    1. Yes, actually. I keep two journals. One for everyday – well, notable events and the other for spiritual impressions, feelings, and answers to prayer. The latter I call my small plates after the Book of Nephi. 🙂

  1. I can relate to those library fines, Kristin! They sure have a way of putting a damper on a perfectly great day. But you’re right- it is still cheaper than purchasing all of the books your family is reading! I love your snippets, too!

  2. Kristin, thanks for posting a study guide if you will for Luke chapter 1. I don’t know how you do everything you do!
    Question-If Luke 1 was discussed today, does that mean that Luke 2 is on Mon? or do you jump around a bit?
    I hope Curtis is feeling better!

    1. Yes, we are discussing Luke 2 tomorrow, Monday. I often wish that parents had the opportunity that their teens have, to attend a gospel study class each day. For adults who would like to study along with us, I will post study guides as often as I can.
      Luke 2 is the most thorough account of the Savior’s birth, which is sacred text for sure. In seminary we go chronologically from one chapter to another. Tuesday will be Luke 3, etc.
      Curt IS feeling better, thank you!

  3. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
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    1. Well, it is great that you stumbled upon my life. 🙂 I am glad that you like it. I enjoy sharing, so feel free to let me know any suggestions. … and thank you.

    1. Yes, there is always more goofy feed when you are a parent in the real world. Come back again real soon. Really 🙂

    1. Thanks. My goal isn’t to give my viewers good ideas, but give them the feeling of being understood. I am far from perfect. Being a good parent is hard work, but it is SO worth it. Come back anytime. 🙂

  5. I don’t even understand how I ended up right here, but I assumed this submit was once good. I don’t know who you might be however definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger if you are not already. Cheers!

    1. Yes, you may. Will you please include a link to my blog on your site so that people who are interested in parenting and everyday family life will know where to find it? THANKS.

    1. Thanks Kay! I am glad you approve of the posts, so far. … Telling it like-it-is comes with some risk! I’m used to being embarrassed, but you aren’t so I’ll be careful – kind of. I LOVE U 2!

    2. …And it has been particularly fun watching home videos this Christmas break. You were SO smart! SO strong! SO beautiful! and still are. I love you too!!!!

      1. Kay Shaeffer Zulanas

        Thanks Mom 🙂 You’re doing great.
        Side question: do you mean “Mornings minus walks,” or do you mean mornings plus (+) walks?

        1. A walk in the morning is always the best start for the day. …Well, after:
          – hugs and kisses,
          – visiting the potty,
          – morning prayer,
          – scripture study is hard to fit in here but HELPS SO MUCH,
          – breakfast,
          – find shoes, pump up the stroller tire, grab books, snacks, keys and water…

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