Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Ben!

We finished the year off with a bang when you were born and you have definitely made each year since a special occasion. You have such a great brain and having a math professor in the family is not to shabby either!  It has been a pleasure watching you encourage and nurture your children and I have loved the interaction you have with each of them.  You and Becky work hard to give your family a Christ centered home and ultimately that will be the best gift that any child can have. No job seems to be to big and no opportunity is to small. You have worked hard and your efforts have paid off in so many ways.  We love you and feel so privileged to have your in our family. Happy Birthday Ben!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Traditions/Fargo!

Here is a Christmas tradition from Ben and Becky's family.  Love my daughter and daughters-in-law who always go the extra mile for their children!



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Missionary Moments #69--Dec 27, 2015

It is 2:15 in the morning and since I haven't been able to sleep I decided I would just get my missionary moments letter out in case I have to drag myself out of bed in the morning!  This has been a wonderful week even though we have nothing to report relating to our work in the archives.  We just spent our second Christmas away from our family and yet have had the joy of knowing that they are just a phone call away. What a reminder to all of us to not let the small things in life get in our way, to celebrate how blessed we are to have a family, and when it is time to do hard things we can do them.  Even more important is the knowledge that there will always be someone who is cheering us on!  

We enjoyed a movie date watching the newest Star Wars movie--saw Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher--who in my opinion have aged beautifully (they actually looked a lot like Scott and me!) and still are great Star Wars characters.  We had the privilege of taking the Sisters out to dinner on Tuesday and then the Elder's last night.  One of our wonderful missionaries, Elder Butler will be moving on this week and we will truly miss him. I understand how important missionary work is and have come to gain a great respect for the young men and young women who make a commitment to put life on hold so they can go out into the world and see what they are made of.  As the lady on my exercise video says "it's not easy--but it's worth it!"  When the new missionary comes on Tuesday I will worry about him until I see that he is growing more confident and comfortable in his new area.  On Thursday we provided a luncheon for the Elders and Sisters serving in the Concord and Canterbury district and it consisted of four elders and four sisters.  What a treat to be able to do something nice for them.  That evening we drove the Elders around to deliver cookies they and the sisters had made to people they have been teaching.  

You may wonder if we have been on any adventures and the answer is no.  I think we are pretty adventured out at this point.  It is probably because we know that in a couple of months we will be driving across country and believe me as exciting as it will be to head home being in the car all day will be a challenge!  We do have one more trip planned for January and that is to go back to Hartford, Connecticut so we can see the Temple which just recently had the Angel Moroni placed on top of it.  The big anticipation this week is the possibility of snow on Tuesday. I am so glad that the lack of snow didn't happen last year--they may have blamed us for bringing our California weather to the east coast!  I was so nervous last year about what it would be like but we survived and so I don't doubt that we can do the same this year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Welcome #21

This is the most recent picture of our newest grandchild who will be making
an appearance in June!  I love technology!

MM with our MM

Concord & Canterbury Missionaries after District Meeting
Today Scott and I had a great time serving a Christmas luncheon to our wonderful Elders and Sisters after their district meeting.  I love these great young people and since we haven't been able to work at the archives I decided that we would work on Making Memories with our Mormon Missionaries!  It was more of a treat for me than for them because I had fun planning, organizing, decorating, shopping, and cooking.  It was so worth it when they came into cultural hall and oohed and awed!

Loved watching them inspect everything

Elder Sanders mom sent poppers--It was a hit!

After the pops there were hats for them to wear

Sloppy Joes and all the fixins

Chocolate Toffee Trifle for dessert!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Debate Tournament

Katie participated in a special program on Saturday. She did student congress and had to write a bill, then make a presentation about it to the other participants and judges.  She said it was "fun but hard at the same time."  In spite of that she did an amazing job and left with a medal around her neck.  Good job Katie.  Grandpa and I are so proud of you!

Happy Birthday Abby!

I think turning 10 is magical!  And now Abby will be able to tell me if I am right.  Abby is a girl who seems to have a perpetual smile on her face.  She is a wonderful big sister to her pal Will and a great little sister to her older brothers and sisters.  She has written wonderful letters to us since we have been missionaries and each one has brought a smile to my face and made us want to work hard so she will be proud of us when we come home.  Abby is creative.  She tries to do her best and tries to make everyone feel comfortable and cared for.  She will always be willing to go the extra mile if she sees someone who needs help.  Abby is a joyful spirit who reminds us that we have to focus on the good in the world because there will always be some good for us to hold on to.  She is that reminder.  Happy Birthday Abby!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Nutcracker Ballet 2015

We spent Saturday afternoon at a matinee production of the Nutcracker.  The program was wonderful but I have to admit the building was pretty stunning!  The Boston Opera House was build in 1928 which makes it pretty young for this area!  It is full of French and Italian styles and everything is stunning inside.  The front of the building looks like a narrow storefront but once you come inside and enter the theater area it opens into a huge theater.  When it first opened it was a vaudeville theater and was purchased a number of times until it eventually closed and fell into disrepair.  It was finally purchased and refurbished and the Boston Ballet launched its new season in 2009.  We loved being there and felt honored to be a part of such a beautiful production in such a beautiful building.

We Went to Pittsburgh...

New Hampshire that is!  I'm a little embarrassed to admit that we are still trying to find a live moose before we head home and we met a lady in the drug store who told us to go to Pittsburgh, NH.  She said it is moose alley and there were moose everywhere.  Apparently they are everywhere we didn't go!  In spite of the lack of moose sightings we still had a great time and saw some beautiful country.
Had a great time watching this little machine take a tree
and pull it right out of the ground.

Typical country--lakes everywhere

Loved this moose!

Had to stop and wait for eight turkeys to cross the road!

Now this is a mail box stand!

No moose--but some moos!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Missionary Moments #68--Dec 20, 2015

To say we had an eventful week would probably be a gross exaggeration!  We did decide to drive to Pittsburgh....New Hampshire hoping to see some moose that a lady told us were everywhere up there.  Turned out that if they were there we didn't see them but in spite of that we had a great trip enjoying the many wonderful sights of northern New Hampshire and small parts of Vermont.  We actually crossed over the 45th Parallel and I know this because there was a sign stating this bit of geography trivia.  Yesterday we drove to Boston and enjoyed a wonderful production of the Nutcracker presented by the Boston Ballet Company. They were very good but the best Nutcracker program I have seen is the one that Meg danced in. This year I knew the dances that she had performed in so I just pretended she was one of the girls dancing and had a wonderful experience feeling that I was with our family watching the show. The more unique part of our trip was just going inside of the Boston Opera House.  On the outside it looked so small but on the inside it was massive and truly stunning.  The details were amazing.  I was able to take pictures before the production began and will share them on the blog.  They said no pictures during the dance and I now know what happens if you do that.  A lady a few rows ahead of us did take a picture and there was a man who came right in and up to her and made her erase the picture she took.  Glad I didn't try to do something like that!  

This week I put a pot of potpourri on the stove to simmer so the wonderful smell of Christmas permeates our apartment.  I made about 4 dozen gingerbread boys (in my case butterscotch boys), planned a menu for the luncheon we are having for the Elders and Sisters for their district meeting on Christmas Eve, and shopped around for some items I needed for the next grandkids box going out before New Years Eve.  We have watched lots of reruns, worked on cross word and word search puzzles.  Scott has been reading two new books we got for him the week before and I finished one book and started on another this week.  I have to admit I have come to realize how wonderful this type of mission is because we worked from early morning to late afternoon at the archives each day without a thought of what needed to be done. We also came home bone tired each day and I slept like a log each night.  Since we have been home these past two weeks I am having a terrible time sleeping even though I am not even trying to go to bed until at least midnight.   Oh the complaints of a bored missionary couple!  

Today Scott will be teaching our Sunday School lesson.  It is the wonderful message that each of us has received the greatest gift of all--Jesus Christ.  So grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who gave us His son who willingly laid down His life for each of us.  In spite of the ups and downs that we may experience in this life we have been given the opportunity to know the end from the beginning and as I told our students last week during Sunday school class--we know which team wins.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Did You Know?

I loved a program that I have been hearing about a lot this year called "Wreaths Across America."  Each year since 1992 wreaths have been placed on soldiers graves starting in Arlington, Virginia and now has spread across the United States and other parts of the world where our soldiers have been buried.  Last year there were 716,000 wreaths placed at the gravesides of soldiers who have served their country.  The organization who sponsors this program--Wreaths Across America have a website and I read in their mission statement that their goal is to Remember*Honor and *Teach.  In one of the videos I watched the person made the following statement about this program: "In life they honor their country--in death we honor them."  This is going to be a program I will support every year.  Today I drove out to the Veterans Cemetery and took a picture.  It was a beautiful sight equal to seeing the cemetery on Veterans Day when each graveside has an American flag by it.  I am so grateful to the people who have made this program possible so we can have an opportunity to express our gratitude to them as well.
New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

We get a monthly magazine that tells us about various events that are happening in the New England area.  One of those mentioned was a display of gingerbread houses made by local citizens of the Booth Bay area.  Yesterday we took a trip to Maine and has a wonderful time seeing the work done by both young and old.  Another great part of the trip was going inside of their Opera House which had wonderful character.  I think it must be a real treat to go there and see actual programs presented of song and dance.
Modeled After an Actual Building in Boothbay

Loved the Stained Glass

Always a Joker in the Building

The Nativity with Shredded Wheat on the Roof

Really Well Done!
Inside of the Opera House

Outside of the Opera House

Filling Time

Knowing we were going to visit a gingerbread display as part of our holiday plans this month and not being able to work at the archives until our folders came in made me decide to decorate a gingerbread house for our apartment.  Here is the finished project--don't look to close!

Missionary Moments #67--Dec 13, 2015

 I don't doubt that you are sick of hearing about folders but here is our sad tale.  I am a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't understand what the director of the archives told us when our box of file folders came in.  On Monday we had used up the whole box and so I went back in to let him know we were ready for more folders.  He had to explain that there are no more folders because the kind he uses for the archives are on back order.  He was able to get us one box hoping that the rest would be in before we finished.  We finished, but the back order did not arrive.  Because of that we left work on Tuesday and have been trying to keep busy at the apartment.  

You may wonder what do you do when you can't go to work.  Well, at home that was not a problem!  And actually we have managed to fill our time with some good and probably not as good activities.  The first and most pleasant aspect of not going to the archives is that we have slept in every morning--wonderful!  I remember when I retired the thing I loved the most was not having the alarm go off to get me up and going.  I have been remembering that great feeling this week!  We headed to Manchester to the Barnes and Noble bookstore where we got some books for Scott to read and a new crossword puzzle book for him as well.  Then we went to the Hobby Lobby where I picked up several things for me to work on. We went to Nashua and had lunch one day and then I browsed at the Dress Barn.  On Friday we visited the post office with a package to be mailed and then ran errands around town.  Yesterday we drove to Portland and Booth Harbor Bay, Maine and had a great time.  In Booth Harbor Bay which is about half way between Augusta and Portland we enjoyed a Gingerbread House contest at an old Opera House in downtown Booth Harbor.  There were about 75 gingerbread houses decorated in numerous ways and I will be putting that on the blog some time today.   After we finished we had a wonderful lunch of fresh fish and shrimp before heading back home.  In preparation for our Saturday activity to Maine I decided I would decorate a gingerbread house as well so that is what I did on one of the days at home.  It is my turn to teach the Sunday school lesson today so I spent time working on that. We have been exercising each morning and afternoon.  And of course, we have watched a lot of reruns of NCIS!  

The missionaries are going to have their district meeting on December 24th and I asked if I could make a special Christmas lunch for them.  There are eight of them and so I have been planning my menu for that.  I will have everything ready and send it with the elders that morning. We love our hard working missionaries and always try to help them whenever we can.  This week we took the Sisters to dinner and then on Friday we took the Elders for Mexican food. Elder Sanders is from Chandler and loves Mexican food like us.  We were so surprised at the wonderful food we got at a local restaurant in downtown Concord called Hermanos.  It was amazing and we will definitely be going back again before we come home. Spending time with the Elders and Sisters reminds me how wonderful the gospel is and especially wonderful when you realize the quality of young men and young women who are serving the Lord because of the knowledge they have of obedience and commitment.  We truly stand all amazed!  Have a great week. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Missionary Moments #66--Dec 6, 2015

This has been a great and uneventful week for us.  Our folders are in and we have been busy since they have arrived.  I am not good at looking busy!  I love the weekends but every Monday when we head back to work I am grateful because we have a job to do.  The weather here has been lovely for this time of the year and although we have had rain several days this week the temperature has remained in the 50s.  It is funny to see everyone all wrapped up right now but so far I have only worn a sweater.  I suspect in just a few weeks I will be bemoaning the miserable cold and snow!  After our trip to Pennsylvania last weekend we decided we would stay in town and it was a good thing that we did. Scott had some pretty bad vertigo and had to lay down several times during the day because his world was spinning.  He seems better this morning but is still a little dizzy.  While he rested I decided it was time for a good clean of the apartment so floors were mopped and vacuumed. The bathroom and kitchen were scrubbed and sanitized and the sheets on the bed were changed.  Our Christmas wreath is on the door and we have a few decorations scattered throughout the apartment so we are ready for Santa to come!  I am really looking forward to the Christmas devotional this afternoon.

This week we worked with the Sisters and Elders several times.  We now have three sisters and two elders but they only have one car to share. This means that they have to arrange rides or walk on the days that the other set has the car.  In a more localized ward that probably wouldn't be a big problem but here our ward is up to 40 miles in different directions.  On Wednesday we drove the sisters to Andover (about 25 minutes away) to exchange missionaries.  We got our sister back and gave the Lebanon sister back after they finished their exchanges in which they work with other missionaries and help them with the work.  Our particular sister missionaries are the trainers for the district so this is done quite often.  On Friday we drove the elders to Boscowen so they could share a message with a senior citizen who lives with his son and grandson and then we took them for dinner at the Gyrro House before driving them over to Pembroke for a teaching appointment.  We dropped them off and then went and did some shopping at Walmart before going back to pick them up and bring them back home.  It was a long day because we never came home until 8 p.m. that night. The upside to the elders was that when we got home they were there to carry in our groceries.  It was a win-win!  One of the things I enjoy so much about being around the missionaries is their enthusiasm for the work they do.  Sister Davis was telling us about a visit with a less active member of the ward.  She said she was so impressed with her companion who she said, "bore a wonderful testimony about the truth of the message they had shared," and when she finished the lady they were teaching stayed quiet for a while (which they thought was good) and then looked at them and said, "you know I think my counted cross stitch has to much yellow in it." Elder Hallstrom told the missionaries at a mission wide conference last year that if the missionaries have only one covert on their mission he wanted that convert to be them.  Such wise counsel.  This work isn't easy but these missionaries sure make it fun!  

This is probably the shortest missionary moment I have shared but it does sum up our week. Next week we are heading to Maine and the following week we will be in Boston.  There is never a dull moment when you are a missionary!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I read a blog written by a wonderful young mother ( in our ward here in New Hampshire and was so impressed with it that I wanted to share what she talked about with our family.   She said she got the idea from another blogger (  I love great people who share their ideas with all of us. Hope you like the idea as much as I did.  At the beginning of the season she asks her children to complete the five following questions and then works off of the list they give back to her.
  • One thing you want
  • One thing you need
  • One thing to wear
  • One thing to read
  • and One thing to light up the world
She gave examples for the last one which involved doing something for someone else such as visiting a retirement center, taking treats to someone, donating to a cause they support, etc.  Anyway, I loved it when I read it and hope it gives you some ideas as well.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


As a school class project our grandson Jeremy colored thank you cards and wrote little messages in them for the veterans for Veteran's Day.  Jeremy worked really hard and made about 10 of the cards. One of his cards went to a gentleman who after receiving the card came by the class to show his appreciation for it.  He gave Jeremy a Coast Guard sweatshirt and a shirt.  He also gave the whole class plastic bracelets and pens.  The story reminded me of the Savior asking the leper where are the others?
I am so proud of Jeremy but I am also proud of that wonderful veteran who came to say "thank you" to a third grader.  I don't know his name but I know that he reminded me that even the smallest act of kindness should be acknowledged and appreciated. If you are in a position to say thank you be sure to take the time to do so.  The clerk in the store, the man who held the door, the child who smiled at you, the driver who motioned you in.  It may take a second but could make all the difference.  It did for my sweet grandson!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Christian!

I couldn't have found a better son to add to our family than Christian.  He is a wonderful person who has a golden heart and does whatever is required to help other people.  He is such a good son-in-law and has always been the best father and husband.  Christian is methodical and he won't be rushed to just get the job done.  It will have to be done well.  He brings a wonderful sense of humor to our family and he works hard to provide for his wife and children. Christian is the best and and I know he will always bring a special quality of kindness into our family.  Happy Birthday Christian!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Birthday Margaret Joy!

Margaret Joy is 17 years old.  She is excellent and a great joy to us.  She is often in her own space doing what she wants and isn't caught up in what other people are doing.  She is her own person and to me seems to be very comfortable in her skin.  She is a talented dancer and gives herself challenges so she can be the best.  From the time she was just a little girl I have often watched her and wondered what was going on in her little mind.  She's an observer and doesn't need to be entertained to be content.  She is a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a granddaughter, and a friend.  She impresses me with her steadiness and when she has something to say I try to pay close attention because I know it will be profound.  She is a keeper.  Happy birthday Meg!

Sunday, November 29, 2015


In an earlier post I wrote about the gritty material that we have on many of our documents and I had assumed it was in the ink that they used at that time period.  While at the Priesthood Restoration visitors center I mentioned to our guide that we have a grit on our documents and wondered what it was.  She said that she probably could solve the mystery when we get over to the Joseph Smith home.  Sure enough on the translation table was a ceramic jar much like a salt shaker with holes on top and inside of it is what they call pounce.  After Oliver would write on the paper he would shake the pounce over the document to dry up any ink that might smear and then pour the remainder of the sand back into the ceramic container.  When I got home I googled pounce and sure enough that is exactly what we have on our documents.  
Here is what Wikipedia said--
Pounce ultimately derives from the Latin for pumice via the old French word "ponce". It is a fine powder, most often made from powdered cuttle fish bone that was used both to dry ink and to sprinkle on a rough writing surface to make it smooth enough for writing. This last was certainly needed if the paper came "unsized", that is lacking the thin gelatinous material used to fill the surface of the paper and make it smooth enough for writing with a quill or a steel nib.
The pounce or sand is gently sprinkled all over the writing on the paper. When using a quill or a steel nib, and with inks that are made up to match those typically in use during the 18th or 19th centuries, and provided the pen has been used with the fine strokes typical of handwriting of that period, the handwriting will be sufficiently dry within 10 seconds to allow the paper to be folded without blotting. Gently vibrating the paper whilst the pounce or sand is on it ensures that little or no pounce or sand sticks to the handwriting and excess sand or pounce is shaken off before folding the paper.
In the 19th century the pounce pots or sanders often had a shallow dish round the top so that pounce or sand could be returned to the pot and reused. The process is very effective for quickly drying ink, and although blotting paper has been available since Tudor times, pounce or sand continued to be used throughout the nineteenth century because it was often cheaper.
I love discovering new things!

The Fungus Tree

I am becoming very fascinated with the fungi that grows in this area and loved this tree we saw as we walked the path to the Susquehanna River.  Notice how the fungus has kind of a ladder affect up the tree.
So cool!

Priesthood Restoration Visitors Center

My favorite part of the trip was visiting Susquehanna, PA.  I love the church history sites and am always so proud of the great job that has been done to remind of us the significant events that occurred in history to bring us to where we are today.  This visitors center was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong.  We started with an inspiring movie about Joseph and Emma Smith and Oliver Cowdery and all the events that lead up to the translation of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Priesthood back to the earth.  Exceptional place and exceptional people.
At the back is the visitors center and the front is the
Susquehanna Branch.

Two depictions of the events of this area

Isaac Hale home where Joseph and Emma lived for a short time
with her parents.

Dining room in the house--loved the gun on the wall--just in case!

Here is their pantry with a turkey and duck
waiting to be prepared for a dinner.

This is where Joseph and Emma lived while he did
most of the translation of the Book of Mormon

This depicts their bedroom.  The cradle was for their
first baby who died and is buried in the cemetery nearby.
On the bed was an actual gift Joseph had given Emma.
It was made of turtle shell and was to be worn in her hair.

They call this the translation table where much of the work
of translating the Book of Mormon would have been done.

This statue was put here in 1960 in recognition of
the restoration of the priesthood.