Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Week Celebrations

I was wondering whether we should focus on Easter this week, as it is Holy Week.  Or maybe preparing for General Conference, since we get to listen to that this weekend.  Or maybe just all the wonderful things I heard about the family at last weekend's Women's Conference.  So many choices!

I decided to treasure Women's Conference in my heart, listen to past Conference messages for morning scripture study, and do Holy Week as outlined by the beautiful singing group Mercy River, here.  IT's a great way to remember the last week of Christ's life with activities that are fun for children.

They celebrate Palm Sunday, Mad Monday (turning over the tables in the temple), Teaching Tuesday (going over some of the parables taught), Spy Wednesday (Judas conspiring), Passover, Good Friday, Spirit World Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

We'll be following the seder ideas we found last year at PowerofMoms for Passover.

So far, the kids have really enjoyed it, and it has been a good reminder for me, too.  I wonder which day we should dye eggs on?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mission Monday

This week marks that halfway mark for Alec's mission.  That seems really strange.  In some ways it seems like he just left.  But more often, it does seem distant - probably because we moved and I just can't see him "sitting over there like he used to."  I do miss him, and I hope the next year goes just as fast as the last one has!

From South Africa:

Well, this is it, hump week for the mission. It is so wierd to think that this week marks the one year mark. It has been a good year so far and is looking like it is going to be a good year coming up.

...we have a ward! Not a branch, and it was so cool to be in a ward again. I almost forgot what being in a ward was like. It is going to be way different when I get home back (home) and have like 200-300 people in one ward, so awesome to think about. The work is definantly moving along here and it is just getting started. I love being a missionary! I wouldn't change/trade it for the world.

From Madagascar:

This week has been going great. And by great, I mean it was slightly subpar, but I'm in Madagascar, speaking Malagasy all of the time, so that elevates it to great. We just had lots of people who weren't home for our appointments so we walked a lot. Yes, there is a bus system, but the traffic is so bad that usually we don't use those too much. But on Thursday, when Elder Richard and one of our zone leaders, Elder Rigby, switched spots for the day a bap interview, we walked 10.18 miles!!! So that was neat.

I saw Elder Glazier today!!! (These two were good buddies in our old neighborhood, and got called to the same mission.  They hadn't seen each other since July.)  It's still really weird to call him that. Anyway, he's so fat!!! Haha he has gained a little weight, but he looks like he's having a blast! No I did not get pictures. We were too "caught up in the moment." And by that I mean we were playing soccer, so... It was way sweet to see him though!

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Stitch in Time

A long time ago, there was a lovely young woman who was engaged to be married.  She was bright and talented, often entertaining her friends and family with performances on the piano or organ.  She excelled at school and earned high honors for her time there.  She dressed nicely and was quite pretty.  Her intended, though not well known to her family, was said to be fun and charming.  She was about as in love as any woman could be, and happily spent her time planning for their upcoming married life.  

Her trousseau became well-stocked as she purchased a set of white china and kitchen sundries for her new home.  Her mother busily crocheted colorful edgings on white cotton pillowcases.  A favorite sister-in-law, married to her eldest brother, began cutting fabric to construct a quilt for the new couple.

She took dozens of fabrics in muted pastels and deeper reds and blacks and began cutting them into small pieces.  Each scrap had to have an exact shape to fit into the particular pattern she had in mind.  When all the pieces were cut, her scissors no doubt slightly dulled and her hands sore, it was time to lay them out and begin assembly.  The small patterns in ginghams, stripes, florals, plaids, and even polka dots were arranged with a simple yellow background, giving the quilt a cheerful countenance.

How many hours were spent in making tiny stitches with needle and thread, I can only imagine.  Every stitch was hand-sewn, pulling the edges of the fabric together with well-wishes for the couple's happiness.  Sometimes the pieces fit together as they ought, and sometimes they did not.  Some pattern lines flowed smoothly, others did not match up exactly, and some of the shapes are slightly distorted.  

At long last, the days and likely weeks of piecing were done.  The quilt front was finished and beautiful.  Next it was time to do the quilting.  She sandwiched a fluffy batting between the finished frontpiece and a plain yellow backing, pinning the edges together carefully.  

Now the stitches followed the lines of the pieces.  They outlined and distinguished the pattern.  Instead of so many individual little pieces, the larger shapes of the circles came out.  Between each ring, a four-petaled flower was stitched.  Each line of stitching had to be as pretty on the back as on the front, and I'm sure many threads were picked out and pulled out when puckers or flaws were found.

When that tedious work was finally done, a binding was sewn around the edges and the quilt was laid aside to be gift wrapped and presented at the wedding.  So many hours.  So much work.  And at the end, a piece of living art, breathing with the love and skill and creativity of its maker.

And so it is with us.  Each little piece is a snippet of our lives.  Our colors range from happy to sad and discouraged to triumphant.  The patterns and textures vary as we grow and learn, and as others enter and pass out of our circles.  Each scrap is held together with stitches, so small as to be nearly invisible - habitual, unimportant, routine, perhaps dull.  But with every snip of the scissors, every little choice of a fabric, every pass of the needle, we sew together our lives.  

In the end, I think we will be surprised at what an amazing whole our crazy lives become.  The mishmash of colors, the un-straight lines of our experiences, the places where our plans did not meet our expectations, and the plainness of our backgrounds can all come together in a beautiful pattern.  The rings of our breathing encircle us and connect us with others near to our hearts, all quilted together in love.  Beautiful.

Thank you, Aunt Shirley, for the lesson and the love.

Double Wedding Ring Quilt, made by Aunt Shirley for my mother's wedding.  ca. 1964

Thursday, March 26, 2015


The fruit trees here are overgrown.  I remember when they were planted, even though I was only four years old.  They were supposed to be semi-dwarf trees, and stay small enough that the fruit would be easily picked.  They were placed in a line across the backyard, like ducks queuing up to get into the ark.  2 apple, 2 peach, 2 plum, 2 apricot, and 2 pear trees, all sunk into the ground by my gardening grandfather, as a gift to his daughter at the purchase of her first house.

We watched those trees grow along with us, always wanting them to be bigger so we could climb them.  And then they started producing fruit and we spent many hours picking and cleaning and cutting and cooking the bounty into jewel-toned jam.

Every spring there was a (mostly) friendly tug-of-war between my father and mother about who would prune the trees.  I don't think either of them really wanted to do it, so they each wanted the other to take care of the job, but they each thought the other would do it wrong.  So do the job, but do it my way!  My dad was a shear-er, and my mother, taught by her green-thumbed father, was more of an arborist.  I laugh now, remembering the struggles, and because I haven't yet developed the skill of proper pruning.

Now there are only 3 trees remaining: apple, apricot, and a little pear tree.  The apple and apricot trees have long since forgotten that they were supposed to be semi-dwarf, and have outgrown their easily-picked size.  Something needed to be done.

Unsure of my meager knowledge, I called a neighbor to ask for assistance.  He came over the other day, and took care of the job.  As the pile of lopped-off branches increased, he chuckled and asked me not to tell my mother what he was doing.  He, too, knew of the feud.

And now the poor trees are bare.  Trimmed and shortened.  I'm not sure we will get much fruit from them this year, but at least we will be able to reach it all!  Now, how do I get my boys to haul off all these branches?

Thanks, nice neighbor-guy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can

This boy is on the track team this year.  And last year, although I didn't post any pictures of that.  In fact, our family has contributed to the track team for several years now: Ben participated all through junior high and high school, as has Chris.  They are all fast runners.  

They get their speed and strength from their father, who likewise loved to run.  He never was on a running team, but he enjoyed it.  In fact, when he felt a cold coming on, he would buy a case of oranges, eat as many as he could handle (which was a lot), and run until he couldn't run any more.  He was convinced that the combination of the two explained why he never fell very ill, and his mild symptoms didn't last more than a day or two.

Me, I wear the shirt that says, "If I'm running, you should be too because something is chasing me."  I don't enjoy running.  At all.  If you do, kudos to you.  I'll sit and watch you and cheer.

Ben and Chris are mid-distance runners and excel in the hurdles.  David, on the other hand, is a sprinter.  At the last track meet. he took second in the 100 meter dash.  I remember being impressed with his speed even when he was a little bitty boy.  I could never keep up with him when he decided to dash away.  He has an impressive strength, ans I'm glad he has this outlet.

And impressively enough, these little ones actually enjoyed the tack meet this time.  It was fun to watch and cheer together.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Opa

I made a German chocolate cake for this wonderful man for his birthday.  I'm so glad we get to see so much of him!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mission Monday

We've been following the aftermath of the hurricane in Vanuatu in the news lately, because Ben's mission companion is from there.  It looks like the whole country is nearly leveled.  Ben told us that his companion's home island "was hit the worst, and he still hasn't been able to get through to find out if his family is ok yet... We're all praying for him. He's super hopeful about it. He's actually beaming and laughing ALL the time. He's a huge stud."

Wow.  How would it be to have such frightening news about your home and family, and still manage to be upbeat and hopeful?  I regularly lose hope over the smallest of things.  I think I need to be more grateful for what I have.  And even when things don't go my way, I'm going to try harder to be upbeat anyway.  What a great lesson.

From South Africa:

Well, this has been an interesting week. That and a crazy one at that too. Transfer week was this week, and I had to move all the way across the mission. It sucked. I don't like moving at all, but that is what we do as missionaries. But, it is all good. I am going to miss Port Alfred, but the next new adventure is about to take place.

So Paarl is awesome! Mom, you were wondering about what it looks like, think Utah! It is awesome! That and grape and olive vineyards everywhere, plus lots of old buildings. So far, so good. It is amazing.

From Madagascar:

So big news this week: It hasn't rained the whole week!!! That is an answer to my prayers, and lot's of other people's too, I'm sure because the water has started to go down. Some of our investigators were finally able to move back into their house that has been flooded for the last three months! Unfortunately, there's still a lot of people living in tents or little temporary shacks on the side of the road, but the sun's been doing it's job, so hopefully that will all get worked out soon.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

I need to call my brother.  He has plans to take my dad for the weekend, and we are connecting to figure out how to make the transfer.  I like talking to my brother.  He's a good guy.  All my brothers are awesome - I'm so blessed.

But my phone won't call him.  I've called him before with no problem, but when I try to call him now. an automated voice says that calling mobile numbers is barred.  Barred!  What a great word!  I'll have to use that on my children.

I'm sorry, but due to your recent report card, playing computer games is barred.
I'm sorry, but the state of your bedroom floor means that playing with your friends today is barred.
I'm sorry, but potty language at the dinner table is barred.
I'm sorry, but anyone speaking to me right now is barred.

I can call my husband on his cell phone, and I can make other calls, so it's just his phone that is not working for me.  Barred.  I'm on the phone with the customer service department (and have been for nearly an hour now.  Fortunately most of that time has been on hold, so I've been able to mediate several spats with the twins, discuss a tax matter with my husband on the other phone, read the news, clean out my email, and check up on my kids' grades.  Now I'm getting bored.  And my chair is uncomfortable.  Wish I had a speaker phone.

And as annoying as this is, it makes me realize that I take phone calls for granted.  I just always know I can pick up the phone and connect with someone.  What an amazing thing it is!  How my great-great-grandmothers would be amazed!  I should use it more, to connect with people who are important to me, instead of waiting for them to call me.

Like my new best friend in India who is concerned about my computer not working.  So nice of him to call me all the time and offer to fix it for me.  Barred.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Opa!

It's birthday week.  Again.  Gotta love this sugar high.

And it's my dad's birthday.  What a wonderful man he is.  I love being able to see him on a regular basis.

We all went out to dinner to celebrate - me and my brothers and our respective spouses.  Spices?  These are good, good people.  Having these people as family - forever! - is one of my biggest blessings.  And that handsome guy on the right side - he started all this.  It's all his fault.

Love you, Dad!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, David!

We've had a bundle of birthdays in the past while. Since I have not yet died due to cake overdose (but  been close, a few days), I will share them here.

David just turned 14. Fourteen!  He usually requests corned beef because it is so plentiful this time of year, but this time he switched it up. His request for birthday dinner was alfredo pasta... with Spam. Spam, spam, spam, spam, spammity spam!  He got his wish, and I didn't even have to go grocery shopping, thanks to one lonely tin of the gelatinous goop I found hiding in the pantry. The enormous bowl of pasta turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.  They ate it up... literally. The secret ingredient is a dash of nutmeg, if you must know. It's not quite alfredo sauce without it.

I made a party cake with an old cake mix I found in my mom's food storage. It looked like a fun one - white cake with colorful sprinkles. Just for fun, I baked it in a big metal bowl instead of a flat pan. But when I tried to tip the cooked cake out of the bowl, the whole thing crumbled into bits. I think I need to toss the rest of those old cake mixes!

I didn't have a car to run to the store to get a new cake (Chris took it to work, and the Mr. was working late), nor did I have time to bake a new one. So we punted. I made a quick batch of frosting and we poured it over the mashed up cake bits. I melted some white chocolate and we made cake pops!  Sort of.  We stuck the candles in the big bowl of sticky stuff because he isn't yet too old for blowing out candles. Then each child got to reach in, squish together a few balls of cake-and-frosting and dip it into the melted chocolate. And after the first one fell to pieces during the dipping, we drizzled them instead. Rather unconventional,  but the kids thought I had come up with a fun new dessert!  Er, yes. Yes, indeed. That's just what I meant to do.

Things I love about my #4 boy:

1. He is thoughful. The other day I was pretty frazzled and he sweetly came over, gave me a big hug, and told me it would be ok.

2. This boy tells the truth.

3. I love the big grin that splits his face in two. Reminds me of his happy daddy.

4. He has an intense drive to do things. Something!  Anything!  He's a do-er.

5. He is a fast runner. Always has been. I'm looking forward to see how he does on the track team this year.

6. He is not afraid of people, and will just walk up to strangers and talk to them.

7. He is a great salesman. I don't know how many times he sold things - strollers, baked goods, garden produce - on the street in front of the house.

8. He has a good business sense to know what people want and help them get it.

9. He is honest about his faults - and his strengths - and doesn't try to hide them.

10. He is self motivated.

11.  He watches his time and knows exactly how long he needs to get ready to go (and doesn't get up one moment earlier!).

12. He is actively working on making himself better. When he know he has a weakness, he comes and tells me about it, and works on it diligently.

13. He loves being with people.

14. He is developing a great singing voice. I am amazed to hear this little boy of mine (who isn't so little any more!) hit some pretty impressive bass notes.

Happy birthday, my wonderful red head!  I'm so glad you joined our family!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mission Monday

It's transfer week!  I had a feeling that we would be seeing the last of Port Alfred in South Africa, and I was right!  As I was posting their letters on the blogs, I was amazed to see that they have been out for 30 weeks and 50 weeks!  Wow.

From South Africa:

For the other news, I hate transfers. Having to know that you are not going to see people again sucks. I got the news on Saturday that I am being moved to Paarl. It is about 45 min east of Cape Town, so that is where I get to go.

And I have to say thank you for all the birthday wishes. Elder Weber and I had an awesome birthday week. Mine was on Tuesday, his was on Friday. So much fun! I'm going to miss Port Alfred, but a new adventure awaits me.

From Madagascar:

No big email this week. There's not enough time.

First things first: Happy birthday Opa! Have the most fantastic day! I'm always thinking of you over here!

Malagasy Morsel is tara. It means late and it's what I am right now, so I'll write you all next week!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day

Yup, we're a bunch of nerds around here. We have to celebrate Pi Day 3.14.15 because we only get to do it once in a hundred years. So at 9:20 - ish in the morning (3.141592...whatever), we ate breakfast pie. How lucky we are to have a guy who will get up early and make good stuff like this!  Thanks, Trent.

Of course, we did round out the day with apple pie (my dad's favorite) and banana cream pie (Trent's favorite) and coconut cream pie (my best!)

Happy pie eating!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Polka Dot Dresses

We've been getting American Girl doll catalogs in the mail.  Angel has fallen in love with the dolls and their colorful clothes.  She is especially smitten with the idea of having a matching dress with her dolly.  She had been asking for a doll with blond hair for a while, so when I saw this one at Costco for a-whole-bunch-cheaper, I snapped it up.  For Christmas, I made them matching nightgowns.  The Angel was thrilled.

Recently, I was innocently walking through a store (and it wasn't even a fabric store!) when this pink polka dot material called to me.  Nay, it jumped off the rack and grabbed me.  It screamed, "Take me home to your daughter and make matching dresses for her and her dolly!"  What could I do?  I bought some yardage, brought it home, and let it sit in the bag for a few weeks.  Take that, screaming fabric.

One night, I got industrious and cut out the pieces for both the big dress and the little one.  Then I let them sit for another week or two.  Gah.  Hate half-finished projects!

So I finally sewed them up, and they were much easier than I thought they would be.  And of course, she is delighted!  It makes me happy to see my girl happy.  Now to see if any of my boys want a pink polka dot dress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Table Troubles

There are a few challenges to moving into a house that you did not pick out.  We moved in so my dad would not have to move out.  We mostly fit, but there are a lot of parts about the house itself that just don't work out very well.  And some of them are challenging enough that if I was looking to buy or rent a house, this would not be the one I would pick.

One of them is the dining room.  There isn't one.  

This house does have a nice, big kitchen.  In fact, I remember hearing my mother say that it was one of the biggest reasons they bought this house.  The kitchen had a u-shaped work area with a large peninsula.  The other end of the room boasted enough space for a family table.  A dozen years ago, my folks remodeled the kitchen and took out the peninsula.  In its place they installed a large island and put counter-height chairs around it.  It is a lovely size for cooking and kneading dough and spreading supplies all around.  And it seats four diners very comfortably.  But there isn't room at the other end for a table any more.

When we moved in, I had to leave my beautiful big table (which could happily seat 12!) at the old house.  I was so sad to see it go.  We moved in our smaller table, but even it is a little too big for this space.  We push the long side of the table against the wall and still have to squish between the table chairs and the counter chairs.  Since no one can sit on the wall side of the table, half of the family has to sit at the counter.  

Half of us are here, and half of us are there.  Folks at the table have to do a little shimmy dance to get out of their chairs without upsetting anyone else and walk over to the counter to get more food.  Both sides have their backs turned to the others, so there is no conversation. We all pause for the prayer, but after that it is every man for himself.  The kids help themselves to food, eat, and then leave - often without more than a half dozen words.  There is no family togetherness, no discussion of upcoming events or how-was-your-day.  Even at lunchtime, when I have fewer people around, the counter chairs are full and I have to eat standing.  It's not working for me.

I decided to try something different.  I pushed the table into the adjoining family room and shoved all the couches over to make room.  

Now I can actually put the food on the table, and everyone has to sit together.  The change has been noticeable.  We talk and laugh and connect.  I feel like I have my family back!

Unfortunately, it's still a bit too tight.  We can't get into the laundry room or to the back door when the table is out.  We have to push it in close to the couch and pull it out for every meal.  Even when we do pull it out, the people in the chairs have to be very careful and still, as the backs of the chairs are butted up against the wall.  And you do have to do a little skipping dance to get past the table and get out the back door.  Oh, and the little ones, who are the only ones skinny enough to fit on the bench, are leaning up against (and wiping their dirty hands and faces) against the back of the couch.  Not good.

The family room is a trifle squishy now.  I could take out some of the furniture, but then there wouldn't be enough places to put all of our heinies.  We have a lot of heinies in this house, and I need a place for us all to sit.  Back to that family togetherness thing I want.

On the positive side, I do like the extra room I have at this end of the kitchen.  I moved the exercise machine in here until we can figure out what to do with it, since it is clearly not getting used.  I think I can smell its dust from here.  I just wish I could take a little bit of the room from the kitchen and stick it onto the little bit of room we have in the family room and make enough room for us all to eat. 

Or I could just get content with never having my family eat together.

Nope.  Not gonna happen.  We shall come up with something.  Maybe?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mission Monday

I love Monday mornings, as I get to read letters from my boys.  Love them so much!  One has been out 29 weeks, and the other for 49.  Where has the time gone?  I'm chuckling, seeing a few British spellings that are starting to come from South Africa, like "rumour."  I bet that will increase in the next year!

From South Africa:

I love being a missionary! As I think about what has happened this week, it is amazing to see just how much the members are growing.

It has been interesting as Elder Weber and I have started focusing more on the members that we have in the past, and not just only focus on investigators. Our members have started bonding together in ways that are truly amazing. That and we have had more referrals from the members and less actives because we have been working with them, and let me tell you, they are solid referrals. Wow, is all I have to/can say. It is amazing what working with the members can do.

I found out that Madagascar has had yet another cyclone.  This one, Tropical Cyclone Haliba, went from the Mozambique Channel, across Madagascar this week.  It travelled just south of Antananarivo, so it didn't hit directly there, but they've been having some pretty solid rain.  It is over the Reunion Islands now, and headed away from Madagascar.  This week will bring more rain, but then this cyclone should be done.  I wonder how many more there will be.

From Madagascar:

The water is still going up... which leads to our Malagasy morsel of trondradrano. It means like the water is going up or is high. (choon-jah-jah-noo)  Despite that, we had quite a few investigators at church on Sunday, which was fantastic. The ward has really been helping us out with them, so props where props have been earned.

Next week is transfers week and speculations are coming out of the woodwork. I'm just hoping that I get to stay here and that Elder Glazier will be coming up here to work in Tana so I'll finally see him! That would be sweet. He doesn't want to though, but he'll come around. Living in the big city is pretty nice! You can buy everything your heart could imagine as long as it doesn't require first world factories! And sometimes there's some of that stuff too! I've really enjoyed getting my nice cheap ties!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Walking With Opa

I just found this picture I took last fall, when the grass was still green and the trees still had leaves.  The sun was just as shiny today, but the air has an unfriendly bite which reminds me that it is not yet wholly spring.

My Dad and I cruise the neighborhood most days.  We try to go daily, but we usually make it four or five times a week.  When we first moved in with him (has it really been six months ago?  No, it's nearly been seven.  Wow.), he could make it halfway up the street before he needed to pause for a rest.  After waiting in the middle of the road for a few minutes, he would declare that his knees were shot and we would slowly shuffle back home.  Now he regularly walks about a mile around our neighborhoods.  

As we set out, he holds up his cane and leads the marching band.  Up and down, he waves it to the music, uses it as a golf club to whack at random rocks in the road, or holds it in two hands in front of him like an old Sinatra dance.  By the time we are headed back, however, he is glad to have the extra support of the third leg.  

It's good for him, this walking.  And it's nice to be outside in the sunshine.  So grateful for bodies that work!  What a blessing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Valentine's Weeks

They lasted.  Who knew that roses would last?  Usually they are droopy after a couple of days, sad-looking but still fragrant at four days, and begging to be removed before a week is up.  My sweet husband bought me an enormous bouquet of roses and lilies for Valentine's Day, and they lasted for more than three weeks!  I love the gorgeous fragrance every time I walk down the hall.

Can you smell them from this picture?  Mmmm...

Maybe he really loves me after all, to get me the magic kind of roses.  

Thanks, Dear.  I love you, too.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Curse of the Bacon

We had a date.  We were going to a jazz concert at the local university.  "He would be home about dinnertime, and then his folks would come by and pick us up.  A good old double-date, in the back seat of momma's car.

Earlier in the day, I had been at MegaMall, cruising through the aisles with the twins.  Somewhere between new socks and and cat food, we came across the sale rack.  I'm a sucker.  I stopped for a brief moment (because I never have more than a brief moment when the twins are around) to peruse.  For something for me.  There usually isn't anything there that anyone would want.  If it was wanted, someone would have already purchased it, taken it home, and loved it, right?  But I found it.  A new shirt.  My mother would have called it a blouse.  It was woven, but as soft as your favorite old t shirt.  Fitted and flowy in all the right places, and the perfect shade of green.  I don't buy green very often because most of the time it is either a yellowy-neon green, or too olive.  I can't wear either of those trendy colors.  But this time it was exactly the same hue as my eyes, and I was delighted.  And on sale!

I snatched up the shirt and hurried through the checkout.  The faster we can ring up our purchases, the fewer checkout candy temptations we have, you know.

I put it on as soon as I got home and checked the fit in the mirror.  Yes, I know, you are supposed to check the fit before you buy it.  That's why they have dressing rooms in the stores.  But the twins and me and dressing rooms don't mix.  It would be bad.  But the fit was perfect.  I loved it!  I pulled off the stickers and cut of the tags, and rushed in to make dinner so I wouldn't be late for our date.

While the veggies were defrosting I dashed into the bathroom to put on some makeup.  While the sauce was simmering I did my hair (but not over the sauce.  That would leave long hairs in the sauce.  Ew.).  I slid a dab of bacon grease in the frying pan to saute the onions.

And then it happened.  The bacon grease popped and spit globules of hot grease all over my new shirt.  My new shirt!  More than 20 dark spotches appeared across the front of the perfectly green fabric.  I settled the stove and rushed to the bedroom to take it off.  I looked up the best internet remedies for removing grease from fabric.

I spread the whimpering shirt on the clean counter (maybe it was me whimpering) and coated it with corn starch, to soak up the grease.  I carefully blotted with paper towels and shook off the extra.  I rinsed the shirt and smeared shampoo all over the front.  I wrapped the now-entirely-wet shirt in a plastic bag to soak while we went to the concert.

In the morning, I continued my ministrations.  Presoak, wash in the hottest water possible, line dry.  After the process, I anxiously unfolded the shirt - and the dots are still there.  Mocking me.  Bad words.

I should have bought two shirts at the sale.

And I should wear my apron while cooking.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mission Monday

From South Africa:

(...the teacher in Sunday school) asked the question, "How would you define miracle?" That caught me way off guard. Over the course of the lesson, he showed, because one member asked why miracles had stopped, that miracles still are happening today. So I have been thinking a lot about how I would define what a miracle is and it has been really rewarding to dive into some of the examples of miracles in the scriptures.

So the question is, Without using a dictionary or looking it up, 'How would you define what a miracle is?'  I would love to hear what everybody thinks...

Miracles DO happen, ALL the time. All we have to do is look for them. They are all around us and they are amazing! I love being a missionary because I get to see lots of miracles in my day to day life. The Lord really does love us and wants the absolute best for us!

From Madagascar:

(We had a baptism) and our ward mission leader didn't show up to take care of everything, so there was no water in the font... On top of that the font was covered in dirt from the last baptism. "Covered in dirt?" You might ask, "why was it covered in dirt??" Well, we're getting there. Anyway, the faucet on the font takes about five hours to fill up the font, so our bishop grabbed the fire house and used that to help fill up the font a little more quickly. Yes, I did make sure to get a picture of that, don't worry. Then the water was brown. Not just slightly brown, but very brown. It was so full of silt that not only could you not see the bottom of the font, you also couldn't see more than a foot deep. So you could say that we pretty much baptize in the river...

I heard that there was lots of heavy rain and flooding in Antananarivo (hooray for news on the internet so I can stalk my boys!), so I asked him about that.  14 people have been killed and tens of thousands have been evacuated from their homes.  Of course I asked!

Yeah, the water is way bad. And it's been getting worse. I'll send some pictures next week. Our area is one of the low points so there's lots of water. We had to use a canoe/gondola style thing to get to some investigators' houses! We're just good though, there aren't any problems with us. Yeah, we get soaked and have to wade through water sometimes, but it's nothing too bad.