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Showing posts from 2019

4 questions you should ask your doctor

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On one of my favorite podcasts, Something You Should Know, a neurosurgeon explained 4 questions you should ask your doctor before agreeing to surgery, or testing or even taking some medications. 

From there I found his TED talk.

I like his honesty. 



By the way, here are simple instructions should you want to subscribe to any free podcasts:
Find the Podcasts icon on your phone's home screenTap to openTap "search"Type name of podcast you are looking for (or type in subject you are interested in)Tap on the desired logoTap "subscribe"Tap to listen

I really did try!

Den is so hard to buy for because he won't tell me what he wants!

But last week I actually heard him say he sure wished he had some wireless ear buds. I thought... perfect!
So Friday night we go to Costco to buy some fruit and pick up a few gifts for the grandkids. While he parks the car. I go inside and there just happens to be this lady promoting wireless ear buds...I tell her, “My husband wants these for Christmas. But I don’t want him to see them so I can’t put them in my cart. He’s parking the car now.”
She says to me, “I’ll you what... after you get all finished shopping have your husband go to the car and tell him, “Sorry I forgot something. This will be real quick.” Then come back in and purchase them.” Okay, I thought, that’s a plan. 
Just as I’m walking away from her I see Den enter the front door of Costco and he goes right to the ear bud display like a child goes to candy. The ear bud lady looks at me from afar as if to say, is this your husband? I laugh and point to Den a…

A special blessing this week

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While we were happily eating our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday...



...I read McKay's post on Instagram to everyone, as he had written about a very unforgettable blessing this past week. 

Since not everyone gets Instagram, or looks at it, I wanted to also include McKay's post here.



"autism_understanding  After a difficult weekend with
Grant, Sunday night concluded with one of the sweetest 
experiences I have had with him in a long time.

As I was putting him to bed we watched one of the 
Book of Mormon videos on YouTube and then I asked
him if he wanted to say a prayer. He began his prayer
with the same few lines he has said since he was 2
years old.

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Elsa, thank you
for Mommy, thank you for Grant."  (I don't know why 
he says thank you for Elsa. He doesn't even like 
Frozen. It's just a routine thing.) 

I then interrupted him with a prompt to try and derail
him from his routine prayer with the words, "Please
help..."

Grant t…

People doing good in the world

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One day last week Den and I went to The Habit for dinner. 
He ordered....uh, I don't know what he ordered. But I got the southwest chicken salad which I pretty much love.

(If you order this salad there don't expect it to look like mine.  I brought some of those toppings from home.) 
But that's not what this post is about.
I noticed 3 people of various ages,  sitting in the booth near us.
They were all wearing yellow shirts that read across the front,  "Good News Club."
And they smiled alot.
So I walked over and said,  "You all look like you must be doing good things in the world."
They explained they are volunteers that teach about the Bible as an  after school program in an elementary school. And that this  program has been around since 1937.
I was thinking this and then I said,  "Really? I didn't know that was legal."
They assured me they have to get written permission from the  parents before the kids can join the club. Then one of them said,  "Many c…

The best day to go to Costco

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Den and I discovered a secret about Costco several years ago, 
that either no one knows about...or no one cares. 



If you want to have the whole store practically to yourself, 
go on Black Friday in the evening. 



We usually go about 7pm, the day after Thanksgiving. 



It's just so pleasant strolling through the empty aisles.



I took these pictures last Black Friday, just for you.
You're welcome. 

PS  I have no idea what's it like there on Black Friday afternoons.

The solution could be worse than the problem...

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A speaker at church last Sunday mentioned how here in California, ever since January 2018, when we had to start bringing our own bags to the grocery store, shop lifting has sky rocketed. 

People bring their own bags, back packs, whatever, making it SO easy slip stuff in there.

The speaker made the point that the solution is turning out to be  worse than the problem. 
He compared this to raising children. Sometimes our solution is to make life so easy for them that they grow up not knowing how to handle adversity. They end of having more problems in the long run, more pain and heart ache. 


So he gave these tips:

This generation is use to instant results. Teach them delayed gratification.
Teach that it's hard to wait and be patient for good things to come.
*If we make their lives too cushy now, later when life doesn't go well, they won't know how to cope and think they have failed. 
Losing proceeds winning.
Praise efforts, not just results
"Prepare the kid for the road,…

Do you want to see what pure joy looks like?

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Our little 10 1/2 month old granddaughter, Daisy, is SO proud. 
And SO happy!

I love how Daisy looks to her left, where her Dad is, 
making sure he is watching, too!

It's a done deal...onward and upward.

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The week before escrow closed on Amy and Logan's house,  I wandered around to look over the empty rooms.
I could only do this a few minutes. I don't like goodbyes.  Even to houses. 
Just before we left... Amy calls out to me, "Look we're taking the desk out!" 

She knew this was the same desk my boys did their homework on. And they used it for their boys too.
I didn't even ask if it's going to their new house  or in a give away pile.

But this room.....
Amy said she told the new owners they will have to paint  over the twins' room because she couldn't do it.
Then I went home and looked up an old video that I made in this  room....just before they were born.....over 10 years ago!

A message from my Uncle

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My Uncle Don (my Mom's brother) has always been an incredible 
writer, and still isn't missing a beat at age 94!
So yesterday he wrote this message to his children, some friends, and me:
"Read in the current New Yorker that the screenplay for "The Irishman" was written my my godson, Steven Zaillian, who I haven't seen since he was in high school. His father, Jim, was my friend at Sanger High and Fresno State. He died in 1978 at 51, a heavy smoker and workaholic. Went to the office seven days a week as news director of all-news-all-the-time KNX radio in L.A., a pressurized job if there ever was one. 

He married a Volga German girl, Alvina Schmidt, whose large family (there were at least 10 children) lived in a sheet-metal housing at a raisin plant across the road from us. She had an identical twin, Alvera. The girls and their betrothed were married in 1948 in a double ceremony at which I was best man for Jim. A month later I was in a tux for my brother. Best mann…

I guess we aren't the only ones...

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Getting back to our dinner with Téa on Saturday night....

She kept saying she had a youtube video to show us when we got home. She actually then went on tell us all about it, pretty much word for word. 

Because that's what 10 year olds do. 

You know how they say when you become a parent you get to live childhood all over again? 

Ditto for a grandparent...because I could not quit laughing at this video. Maybe you have to be 10, or a grandparent to get it?

But, maybe it's not just the Grandmas and 10 year olds, 
because it does have 7,200,272 views 😉


Moving Day

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It's one thing to know it.
But it's another thing to actually see it.






For 15 years Amy and Logan and their family have lived here. 

And yesterday was moving day. Or, moving week, as Logan calls it.

They asked if Téa could hang out with us for a few hours, 
so we took her out to dinner. 

While we were sitting there waiting for our food I told her:
"Did you know that 15 years ago, all in the same month, your Daddy married your Mom, became a father to 5, became an RN, got a new job at the hospital, and bought a house and moved in?" 

She just smiled
so I said, "Téa, this all happened the very same month!" 

Then she sort of woke up and realized what I just said, 
and tried to make sense of it. 


Then she announced, "But you said 5 kids....no, there's 7 kids."



"No, when your parents got married, there were 5 kids. 
You and Jonas didn't come until 5 years later, and then there were 7."


That's okay Téa, your Grandpa and I know about glitches in the…

Just in case you want to follow along...

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I found this couple through a friend of a friend of a friend.
So in other words, I don't know them.

And no, they don't belong to our church. 

But I have been fascinated by what they are going through. 

During my pregnancies I would sometimes have this dream that a foot or a hand of my little fetus would poke out through the top of my stomach. In utero is such a mysterious sacred place. 

And then years later they actually came out with fetal surgery. 
Can you imagine having someone do surgery on your baby before it's even born? 

I have never known one person this has happened to, so it still seems even sort of science fiction like. 

Then I found this couple, and I'm not even sure where they live exactly...but 3 hours from Cincinnati since that's where they needed to go for the surgery.

And that is where she has to stay for the remaining 4 months until she gives birth.

The very first video I watched of them was the day they learned their 20 week fetas has spina bifida, and tha…

9 tips to get him to do chores

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At the end of this post is a list by Gretchen Rubin 
on how to get your husband to do chores without nagging. 


Dennis likes to empty the dishwasher for me, 
but since his stroke sometimes he has trouble holding onto things. 

Occasionally a plate won't make it to the cupboard. 



We've lost a few so far.
On another note, tonight we were eating at a Mexican restaurant. 
It was obvious our waitress was new. 
She seemed unsure of herself, and nervous. 

She unknowingly dropped some food as she was carrying plates to 
our table. She left quite a heap of scattered cheese on the floor. 

As soon as she was out of sight, Den got down on the floor 
(which was not easy for him) and quickly cleaned up her mess.
He didn't want her to get in trouble. 




So here's Gretchen Rubin's list....

Number 1 would never work for me. The note yes, but the empty container...he would never notice.  I likeNumber 2 the best! 

But I think I would add a Number 10 to her list: 
"Just be thankful for what he can do…

Getting ready for their big night

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Karen and Tyler, in Idaho, are just about all ready 
for their 2nd annual Halloween party....which was actually tonight. 
So I'm anxious to hear about it!

But until then I can watch this video.

They had this first annual party last year, just 2 
months after moving in. What a great way to make fast friends!

I love the excitement of it all, 
and how they put their whole hearts into it! 

Overnight Oats

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So I've noticed for years these cute little overnight oats people put 
in mason jars and then show them on Instagram or blogs. They 
even make several at a time and have them all ready to eat in the 
morning for days.

Cute food does not impress me in the morning. And why prepare 
oatmeal ahead of time when it's so easy to make it the morning of? 

That was until I read in Reader's Digest, Oct issue...
about Overnight Oats:

So then I took notice and decided to just give it a try. I put my 1/3 
cup oats in a bowl with a cup of milk (I use oat milk), handful of 
blueberries, and some raspberries.


Den and I put our bowls in the fridge the night before. Sometimes we even make tomorrow's oats right after breakfast. 
He likes his just plan,  and then he adds maple syrup and cashew butter in the morning. 

Then next morning it did not appeal to me to eat it cold so I put it in 
the microvave for 75 seconds....then add some sunflower seed 
butter. The soaked oats texture seemed odd at first, but …

I got to be with 7 year olds today

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Dennis teaches the 7 year olds every Sunday at our church.  Today I got to help him since his team teacher couldn't make it. 
I mostly just sat and listened  as Den taught them about Paul in the New Testament. 
How Paul got thrown in prison but he could still pray,  and still had the ability to feel joy. 
One little girl raised her hand and asked,  "But how could he feel joy in prison?  When I got a shot I didn't feel joy."
Den responded that we sometimes we have to  go through hard things,  but we know our joy will return. 
And as the children were very intently listening,  Dennis said that no matter what we go through,  we know we can always pray. We are never alone. 
Another girl had a comment, that was only vaguely related, "One day I saw someone at school being bullied. I told them they shouldn't do that,  but they wouldn't listen to me." 
Another girl advised her, 
"You can pray about it. 
And then you can warn the person who is a bully 
that it's not very …

Unexpected Friendships

I listen to several podcasts. Mostly in the middle of the night when I wake up, and can't go back to sleep...like last night. 

I just put on my sleep phones (they are soft earphones I can lay on), choose an episode, and then get lost in thought about what I'm listening to. 

Last night's chosen episode was called Unexpected Friendships.  

It's about 3 unexpected friendships....three different people shared their stories about pairing up with people they would never expect to hang out with, but did, and their lives changed for the better. 

It's from the podcast This Is the Gospel. Yes, it's put on privately by members of our church, but I think anyone could relate to these 3 stories. 

The first 1-2 minutes are a little slow, but then the stories begin...

Unexpected Friendships


I will be back with other podcasts I like. 
If you have any to recommend to me, please do!!

I love October 11th for 2 reasons.

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When McKenna told me that Baby Jack would be born on October 11th, I was happy because that was already a very special day to Den and I.

We "met" online on Oct 11th, 21 years ago. 

I had no clue how much both our lives, and the lives of our children, would all change because of one email:

Den kept all of our letters, starting with that first one, and then putting each subsequent letter on top of the previous one. 
I can hardly believe tomorrow we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. He still feels like my new husband!
Baby Jack came home Sunday morning,  just 2 days old. 

Baby Jack's song

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Many in my family have a song that belongs just to them. 
I never choose it for them, it just happens. 

Whenever I hear that song, I always think of them and even say to whoever's listening, "Oh there's _____'s song!"  

Most of those songs came because it was playing on the radio while that person was with me...and there was just some significance to them being there with that particular song.

Or I knew they were going thorough a significant day at the time I was listening to it. 

Regardless, it just happens.

So Friday morning as I was busy in the kitchen making lots of food, I turned on Pandora, and put it on shuffle, as I usually do. 

But since we just learned of Baby Jack's birth about an hour before....I thought to myself, okay what ever song comes on I will most likely associate with him.

Just after I turned on Pandora, Dennis was calling me into the garage. I left the food, and the music (not even paying attention to it at that point) to see what he needed...th…

Welcome Baby Jack!

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Meet our newest grandson, Jack!
Born this morning at 7:53 am 6 lbs, 14 oz

He looked a little worried,  but watch how he relaxes  when he meets his sister Scarlett.

The Day before Baby Jack comes....

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McKenna has a 5:30am appt to have their baby tomorrow!

I sent them a few questions to answer for me today...



I'm thinking I will most likely not sleep much tonight.  This is just too exciting!

This could very well be our last grand baby. 
(I may have said that when Juliet was born!)


Looking back 8 years when she was expecting their first baby, Grant...

Aldi is almost ready here

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We keep driving by the brand new Aldi by us.
The shopping carts are out now so opening day must be soon, right?

Meanwhile, it just so happened this week one of my 
favorite vloggers did a short video on her favorites at Aldi. 

This makes me even more ready! 

Elora and Hailey 10 years ago

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My granddaughter Elora, and my brother and SIL's granddaughter, 
Hailey, have always had this straight forward bond. 

Even back in 2009 they could speak their mind. 

I was happy to run across this little gem today....10 years later!





And this one's for you, Darlene, since you asked for a recent picture.
This was actually taken 15 months ago.
I wish I had a picture of them at their Great Grandpa's funeral last March!

I think I know why I had that dream

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I had this dream last night. 
I was climbing up from a long winding tunnel.  Just as I got to the top, and then climbed out, I looked back down that tunnel and noticed a very little child struggling to also make it to the top. 
This child was wearing a white bunny costume complete with bunny ears that were even covering it’s face, so I couldn’t even tell if it was a boy or girl, or who this child belonged too. 
I reached for this child over and over again, but he or she kept slipping from my grasp and I watched as this child fell further away. 
I reached further down feeling the strain on my shoulders as my arm stretched as far as it could go, and I was finally able to grab that child by the hand and pull him or her up into my arms. I held this child close and tight, feeling such relief. 

It was one of those dreams that felt so real.
Then I woke up and remembered something that was said at church yesterday, which thinking later, most likely triggered that dream. 
We had a special meeting whe…

I've only read one page of this book so far...

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I haven't read this book, but I want to. 


It's the September pick for Jenna Bush Hager's book club and here's what she had to say about it:

The Dearly Beloved is a book about faith and doubt. Love and sorrow. It follows two couples whose lives are intertwined as they navigate pain and joy. And it made me think about with whom and where we find comfort when life hurts? Or who we reach for when the goodness in the world makes us want os sing out with joy? I gave this beauty of a book to my family--and loved the conversations that came from it. Read with me---this gentle, gorgeously written book may be one of my favorites ever."

So why am I doing a post about a book I haven't even read yet? Because.... I did read the dedication at the beginning, and it reminded me so much of my childhood:

Dedication by the author, Cara Wall:
"To my parents, Merle and Duane, who somehow taught me everything I know without ever telling me what to do."

Yep,that was my childhood…

The easiest spaghetti I ever did see...

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I watched Karen make Spaghetti and Meatballs in my Instant pot when she was here last month, and I was amazed!She just puts everything in there, even the dry noodles, and then it just takes about 15 minutes to be done.
I said, "So you could just get home from soccer practice and throw this all in the Instant Pot and it would be done in 15 minutes?"
"Actually," she answered, "That's what it's called, Soccer Mom Spaghetti." 
I watched her kids google it up.






Go HERE for the complete recipe, but basically it's this:Add a little olive oil to the cooking pot. Olive oil will help keep the noodle from sticking and also add a nice flavor to the spaghetti sauce.Grab meatballs out of the freezer, dump them in.Open a jar of your choice of spaghetti sauce and dump it in.Breaks some Spaghetti in half and dump it in.Pour in the water.
Once all ingredients are added to the Instant Pot DUO PlusMealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker, you are ready to pressure cook. …