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NEVERBORED - "Life at home is a series of small things that combine to create an eternal family." - Virginia Jenson

Updated: 2018-02-16T04:30:34.106-05:00


Pictures and More Pictures - Part One


The entire group!Hayden's grandparentsHayden's familyVarious "Harris" CombinationsNieces and Nephews (missing the PA contingent) Michelle's familyMichelle's grandparentsVarious "Whitaker" CombinationsMy 12 Children!The brothers are all proud of their baby sister! And we're proud of all of them! Thanks for making our dream (of having all our children married in the temple) come true![...]

Pictures and More Pictures - Part Three



South Florida Fair


We've waited awhile to be able to attend the South Florida Fair again (we went a few years ago with Michelle) just so that Wayne could ride every single carnival ride. And he made a valiant attempt! We got there soon after it opened and headed right to the midway. The first ride we came to - Eye in the Sky - wasn't actually considered part of the "unlimited ride pass" and cost an extra $5. I guess it was put up by a different company. So, we skipped that one.Later we ate a snack at a table near that ride entrance and decided the most frustrating job at the fair belonged to the person who got to repeat over and over - like every 30 seconds - "The wrist band isn't valid here; you can buy tickets at that booth." I couldn't understand why they didn't have an obvious sign mentioning that little fact.Anyway, the first ride was the Super Himalaya. That was followed by the Magic Maze (not much of a ride, but a fun house) and then the Free Bird. I think that was Wayne's favorite ride of the day.There were several shows going on at different times and places, and Wayne's co-workers had recommended a couple of them that would be worth seeing. He thought breaking up the rides was a good idea, so after the Free Bird we headed to the Ice Parades Skating Show. It was nice, but a bit loud, and reminded us of cruise ship entertainment.The second show we saw (a few hours later) was called Stars of the Peking Acrobats. Our seats weren't as good, and the music was still loud, but I enjoyed this one more. There are some incredibly talented people in the world.As we walked by all of the rides, we realized that many of them are repeats, just with different names and lights. For example, Centrifuge and Starship 2000 are both gravitons. The Alpine Bobs was the same as the Super Himalaya. Vertigo and Yo-Yo were similar.The original plan was to mark down every ride he went on, so if he didn't finish this year, he could do so next year. We had a list, but it was by tickets needed, and I wanted one in walking order, so I had to create my own:Super HimalayaMagic MazeFree BirdCentrifugeGiant WheelF-5Zero GravityRock StarOrbiterSizzlerSuper Cyclone (roller coaster)Air RaidSea DragonWipe OutMagnumZombie Apocalypse Mighty MouseTyphoonSun WheelBumper CarsStreet Righter 360Starship 4000Techno PowerYo YoCliff HangerExtremeScooter (bumper cars)Alpine BobsWacky Shack (another fun house)Land SlideZipperSpin OutSpace RollerVertigoSpiderDelusionMega DropDrag Strip Mega Slide After the first show, we walked back to the midway and Wayne rode the Centrifuge. He would have ridden the Giant Wheel, but they didn't allow solo riders, so then it was on to F-5. Zero Gravity also required more than one person on the ride. So, I guess there is one disadvantage to attending a carnival when it isn't crowded. (There are many more advantages, though.) Then it was time for Rock Star (see above). By this point, he wasn't sure his stomach could handle the next two rides, so we skipped them with the plan to come back, and it was on to the roller coaster - Super Cyclone.We watched Air Raid for a bit, but it looked like having a single person would make it unbalanced, and it also included being spun upside-down, so he decided to pass on that one for the time being.Sea Dragon was a fun ride, with no cause for going upside-down, and Zombie Apocalypse was pretty tame, and even lame. The two rides in between those involved a bunch of spinning so he didn't want to do them back-to-back, and by then it was time to head to the acrobat show. After the show we were hungry, so we had barbecue for dinner.Afterwards we finished wandering around the midway, but by then Wayne had made the decision that unfortunately he was no longer a young man, and he was through getting dizzy for fun. He stated - on the record - that we don't need to buy a ride ticket in the future, even if we didn't finish all the rides this year, which he didn't. He did go through one more fun house type, but that was the end [...]

The Wedding Day!


Slowly, but surely, I'm making progress with recording memories of Michelle's wedding, and we've finally made it to the wedding day itself. Hayden and Michelle chose an early time for their sealing, and that's okay, because we're morning people. Maybe they wanted to rethink that decision when the backwards timeline meant a super early hair and makeup appointment, but it all worked out. Thanks to Hayden's aunt for volunteering to be the beautician.Then it was off to the temple. Do you think maybe she was a bit happy to be getting married?I'm sure you know how it works. While the bride and groom are busy in the temple, family members and friends gather outside.Michelle was actually quite speedy, and she and Hayden ended up having to wait not only for her photographer, but also while the bride and groom before them had their turn for pictures. I think there were over 20 marriages at the Provo City Center Temple that day. (That's what I get for waiting too long to record this! Maybe Michelle will remember the actual number and we'll correct this.)Then it's time for hugs and more hugs, and even more pictures!After a bit we needed to make room for the next wedding party, so we traipsed around to the other side of the temple.I'm not exactly sure why Hayden and Michelle didn't go together, but I love these pictures of them with her brothers. I'd love to know what sage advice they were sharing during the short be continued . . .Happy 4 Month Anniversary!![...]

New Year's Resolutions


I'm still working on finalizing my New Year's Resolutions for 2018, but one of them includes going through old boxes of papers and stuff. In doing so I came across this gem.

I'll have to go back to my journal to see if we accomplished these goals. However, they're pretty good ones, and maybe they'll help you this year. I particularly appreciated our scribe (which I suspect was Weston). It's interesting to see what got crossed off, and how we turned the negatives into positives.

What got crossed off:

  • Don't fall asleep in sacrament meeting. (It has a notation to maybe try this again in two years!)
  • Eliminate quarreling and teasing. (At least we were striving for achievable goals!)

What stayed:

  • Remember (as opposed to "don't forget") Jesus when in the chapel.
  • 4 service projects a year.
  • Invite one family over for dinner each month.
  • Weekly surprise inspections of the house.
  • Be kind and cheerful (as a step toward eliminating quarreling and teasing).
  • Choose a name (to give to the missionaries) by March 3rd.

The Temple


Happy Three Month Anniversary!This week our Relief Society lesson was on the temple; was yours? December is a very busy month, and it can be quite stressful, but so can life in general. In fact, the days leading up to a wedding can be even more stressful than those leading up to Christmas. However, taking the time to go to the temple puts everything into perspective and brings peace into our lives.I know your lives are busy. I know that you have much to do. But I make you a promise that if you will go to the House of the Lord, you will be blessed; life will be better for you. Now, please, please, my beloved brethren and sisters, avail yourselves of the great opportunity to go to the Lord’s house and thereby partake of all of the marvelous blessings that are yours to be received there. -- President Gordon B. HinckleyThe wedding day was special and beautiful, but so was the day before, when we accompanied Michelle to the temple so she could receive her endowment. The experience lived up to my expectation, and I hope it lived up to hers.Provo City Center TempleAfterwards we had our traditional dinner with the bride and groom and both sets of parents.Nice RestaurantDelicious FoodI highly recommend this tradition to those of you who still have weddings to look forward to in your future. It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know your future in-laws, people who will be a part of your family for many years to come. In fact, may I just go on record here as saying the parents of our children's spouses are some of the best people in the entire world. We greatly appreciate all that they do for our individual family members. We've found that gathering for baby blessings (which is usually the time when we see them again) is something we look forward to greatly because it means we'll have a chance to visit with them as well as meet a precious new grandchild.We love all of our new in-laws, which are really new friends. I'm sure you'll agree they're wonderful people![...]

Newborn Kits


February 2010Several years ago we had a Relief Society service project where we assembled hygiene and newborn kits (about 24 of each) to send to the humanitarian arm of the church. It doesn't look like they still accept these types of donations, but it's a fond memory for me. And just in case you want to try something similar on your own, here's the list of what was included:4 single thick cloth diapers, 100% cotton (approximately 25x27 inches, no pre-fold or disposable diapers)4 diaper safety pins1 pair booties or baby socks2 bars of soap, 3.2-5 ounces each (Ivory or other non-allergenic brand)1 receiving blanket, 36x36 – 45x45 inches (single layer fleece, or double layer flannel, hemmed and top-stitched to prevent shifting)1 layette gown (no footed sleepers, buttons, zippers or strings - newborn to 6 months, cotton knit)At the time of this service project we were expecting our first grandchild. I wanted to have a sample before the meeting, so I made a layette gown for him, using this pattern.June 2010Doing so reminded me of the little gowns his dad had used in the first months of life. I don't know if baby boys still use gowns, but it's become a tradition to make them for our granddaughters. Here's the latest, for granddaughter #6 expected any day now.Because these are actually quite simple to make, I made another one this month for a local friend's new baby, along with a couple of embellished onesies. I like thinking about my friends and family members as I make gifts for them, and I'm grateful when I can do so. I hope they find the gifts meaningful, but even if they don't, I enjoy making them.Every time I sew I'm reminded of one of the few Christmas gifts I remember from my childhood - a six-week sewing course at Sear's the year I was ten. Experience gifts really are the best.There's been some time between starting the post and actually publishing it, so baby Lynelle is here! I'm looking forward to making many more gifts for this precious little girl, and I'm sure her other grandmother is as well, as evidenced by this beautiful pink afghan.[...]

A Tale of Two Parties


This past weekend both our ward Christmas party and Wayne's work party were held. Because they were on the same day and at the same time, we ended up attending the work party. We would have preferred being at the other where we knew everyone. However, I was able to help with the decorations and food, so at least we knew a bit about how the ward party would look. The person in charge of decorations likes to go all out! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.This year the work party was held at Mar-a-Lago, which is the club on Palm Beach Island owned by Donald Trump. He and Bill Koch (the owner of the company Wayne works for) are long-time friends. Anyway, the event started with appetizers and drinks around the pool, followed with dinner in the ballroom. It was a bit chilly outside (we had our "winter" weather arrive that day) but not too bad.Instead of ham and potato casserole and salad and rolls and pie (what was served in the church building), we had "fancy" food that needed a written explanation so we'd know what we were eating. Of course, it was all very delicious.Because President Trump was actually in town (which meant that we had to go through security to even get on the property), and because he and Bill Koch are friends, everyone suspected the president might come to the party (as he had in previous years when the party was held at Mar-a-Lago). And he did. It was actually pretty cool, and Wayne's excited that one of his co-workers got a great picture of him standing three feet away from the President of the United States. This wasn't a political event, so President Trump just walked in, spent about five minutes talking to Bill and other people at the head table, and then walked out. He didn't address the goup. However, the route was such that he walked right behind our seats, and he even patted Wayne on the shoulder. So, now we have something to talk about when we've exhausted all other subjects.I don't mind participating in these fancy events once a year or so, but I'd really rather prefer relaxing in my own home. However you decide to celebrate the social part of this holiday, I hope you have a fantastic time.Merry Christmas![...]

Gingerbread House


Happy Birthday, David!I haven't been very good about remembering birthdays this year, but I remembered this one. I even remembered a couple of days in advance which allowed me to realize that my plan to share this year's gingerbread house in honor of his special day wasn't a new idea. It's what I did a few years ago.I did find a couple of new pictures, though, in addition to this year's creation above.For those who are interested, many, many years ago my mom sent me a Pampered Chef gingerbread house mold. It makes creating gingerbread houses much easier, since you don't have to roll out and cut the dough. However, it's still a process, so it doesn't happen that often, but I really enjoyed making one this year, so maybe it will be more frequent in the future. We'll see!Who says gingerbread houses need to be limited to December?[...]

Thanksgiving 2017


Just like last year, we were able to drive to my parents for Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful time.Relaxing in the living roomLittle kids don't believe in sitting still.Preparing the green bean casserole.Mashing potatoes.Delicious feast!Someone needed to test all of the pie varieties.I was impressed, not necessarily with the piano playing (give her time), but definitely with the singing, particularly "I am a Child of God."This little girl was pretty pleased with herself when she commandeered Great-Grandfather's chair.After our traditional hike on Friday morning, we helped Holly with her Christmas cards. As usual, she was pretty happy about that. Can't forget the traditional ice cream date with Grandpa!I really do enjoy Christmas decorations, but I discovered that it's possible to go too far overboard. I wonder how much this hotel has to pay to store their decorations when it's not the Christmas season.[...]

A Bridal Shower


Happy Two Month Anniversary H&M!Time for another wedding post; this one will be about the bridal shower, which was kindly and thoughtfully hosted by Michelle's sister-in-law (the one with the house in Utah). Thanks, Elizabeth!!By the Wednesday before the wedding, family had started gathering, which included the nieces from Atlanta. They were pretty excited to see Aunt Michelle again, and maybe even more excited for the chance to have a party.The party food and decorations were simple and lovely.Guess who had dibs on the cupcakes with M&Ms?Michelle's good friend (whom she met when they were roommates at Helaman Halls) was in charge of the game, which involved bubblegum and trivia questions to help us learn more about the engagement story. It, too, was simple and fun. Thanks, Lexi!Of course, the most important part of the evening, at least for me, was being able to meet wonderful new ladies, including Hayden's mother and aunt, all of whom love Michelle and just wanted to wish her well in this wonderful new adventure.[...]

Saturdays and Holidays in October


Our September Saturdays were quite eventful, and I'll get to posting about them soon (hopefully), but our October Saturdays were quite busy and productive as well. It was nice to have Jeff and his family join us for some of them, and here are the stories for those of you who couldn't be there!October 7 - Jonathan Dickinson State Park - The activity for this visit was to rent a canoe and spend some time on the river. We had a wonderful time - see here.Columbus Day - Cypress Creek - Yes, October is still rainy season, but we thought this hike was far enough from water sources that we wouldn't be sloshing through water. We thought wrong. Read all about it here. However, it was a fairly short hike, and it was a gorgeous day, so afterwards we spent time at our neighborhood pool, and then tried out a new restaurant at the mall - Joe and Ray's Table. It was interesting, but we probably won't go back.I enjoyed the Lamb Gyro Plate, but Wayne's Beef Burger was a bit undercooked. The traditional Egyptian cookies reminded me of Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Cakes or Snowballs; they're known by many different names.October 14 - Stake Conference - Once again we were responsible for the stake choir and once again we were pleased with the results. We have awesome members in our stake who are willing to go the extra mile. And we enjoyed our traditional Panera dinner between sessions on Saturday.October 21- Service Project - One last "Mormon Helping Hands" project to help with Hurricane Irma cleanup. Wayne was surprised to find one of his Boy Scouts from 25 years ago also helping with this "multi-ward across stake boundaries" service project. Grant and his growing family are doing great. What a small world!October 28 - Rainy Day - It was supposed to be a rainy day, so we postponed our scheduled trip to Lantana Beach. However, after breakfast it wasn't actually raining which meant we could work in the yard for a couple of hours. Thanks, Jeff, for helping us remove the stump! Once the rain came we moved indoors, trying a new recipe while watching BYU football on tv. It was nice that they decided to win that game!Halloween - Celebrating our typical traditions meant we attended the ward Fall Festival and passed out candy to trick-or-treaters. You can read all about this year's activities here.[...]

Halloween 2017


This year the youth dance was the same night as stake conference (still trying to figure out how that happened) so we didn't attend. That meant we didn't have to come up with a costume (like we did last year and the year before). That's totally okay with me. However, I did help with the costume for Savannah. Her parents came up with the idea; I just did a bit of sewing.

As usual we participated in the Trunk or Treat at the church, by bringing chili and cupcakes along with a few Tootsie Pop Ghosts. Can't forget Wayne's scary eyes! (Savannah was not a fan of them.) It was a nice activity, and we were extremely grateful it was held on the beautiful Friday evening and not the rainy Saturday one.

We didn't carve jack-o-lantern's, but we did put out a few lights in the yard and hang up our paper plate skeleton, which inspired comments from several of the 125 or so trick-or-treaters that came to our door.

Too bad none of these cuties visited our porch, but that's okay. We're grateful for Instagram so that we can still be part of the fun.

Marshmallow Ghosts and Cookie Spiders


Marshmallow GhostsThis year's "new" Halloween treat comes from Taste of Home. Just melt 6 ounces of white almond bark for 30-60 seconds in the microwave. Then stir in 2 1/4 cups of mini marshmallows. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper, gently form into "ghost" shapes, and use mini chocolate chips for eyes if desired. Let harden and enjoy!Peanut Butter Cookie SpidersThese creations are just our regular Peanut Butter Cookies topped with a mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup as soon as they come out of the oven. Press in candy eyes while still warm (so that they stick to the melted chocolate), then let cool and pipe on the legs. I'm trying to decide if I prefer black icing or brown melted chocolate; what do you think?And here are a couple of "old" ones that we're doing again.Sweet and Salty Halloween TreatsPreheat oven to 350.  Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place as many pretzels as you want on the sheet.  Unwrap and place a Hug on the top of each pretzel. Put the cookie sheet in the oven for about 3 minutes, just until the Hugs are shiny.  Pull the tray out of the oven and top each one with a candy corn, pressing down slightly.  Let cool.Tootsie Pop GhostsWrap a piece of white Kleenex (or tissue paper or paper towel around a Tootsie Pop). Tie a piece of yarn under the sucker. Draw on a ghost face if desired. Display by sticking in either a styrofoam cone or a small glass.Jello JigglersAdd 3/4 cup boiling water to one packet (4-serving size) of jello. Stir to dissolve then pour into molds. Chill unto set. If no molds are available, just pour the mixture into a baking pan and then use either a knife or cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes when set.Orange Caramel PopcornBring 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup corn syrup and 2 drops each red and yellow food coloring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then pour over a large batch (about 2/3 unpopped) of popcorn. Spread on waxed paper to cool. (Can also use brown sugar and omit the food coloring; see original recipe here.)[...]

Cypress Creek - The Third Loop


We decided to take advantage of having a Columbus Day holiday (no work) to return to Cypress Creek and do the thrid loop of the Osprey Trail system. Even though it was rainy season, we thought this trail would be high enough to be dry, and it started off that way. However, we hadn't gone far at all before we ran into water in the ruts of the trail.And after a while, we realized it would be fruitless to try and avoid the water. So, we just made up our minds to enjoy our slosh through this beautiful area. As you can see, there were parts when the trail was actually a creek.You can compare this crossing of Cypress Creek with our earlier ones here and here.Although a bit damp for our feet, the day was absolutely gorgeous!We made it to the canal boundary, but at this time of year there were no crops growing on the other side. The trail there was dry, but right about the time our feet dried, it was time to turn back into the wet trail.Once again we took the little detour to the observation deck.Thought you might like just a glimpse of what our hike sounded like! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />One more picture of our beautiful day! And, yes, I was there :)[...]

Canoeing on the Loxahatchee River


Jonathan Dickinson State Park - The Ninth Visit, or An October VisitThis turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day, and we were so glad we had planned to head to the local state park and rent a canoe. It was the perfect "stay-cation" activity, and a nice break after the previous weeks filled the stress of travel and hurricanes.After leaving the dock, we headed up Kitching Creek. It was kind of cool to see the observation platform from the other side.Back on the Loxahatchee we passed some wildlife on our way to the Trapper Nelson site.\Hurricane Irma didn't cause any lasting damage here, but the water levels were super high, and the main boat dock was still underwater. That meant the tourist trips were cancelled and we could explore the area without any large groups around. (There was another couple there when we arrived, and a caretaker when we left; much different from the last time we visited.)The return trip was with the current, and although there were some spots where we had to row against the wind, overall this was a very do-able canoe hike and we weren't too sore the next day.After returning our canoe and before driving home, we christened our brand new barbecue grill by making cheeseburgers. Delicious!We're looking forward to our next visit to this beautiful park![...]

The Saga of the Dress


As mentioned in the last post, Michelle and I created her wedding dress together, and it's finally time to reveal the finished product, along with several stories surrounding it and her special day. I'm sure you'll agree that this isn't just a sweet tale, but a very suspenseful saga.We can't leave you in suspense, though; the story has a happy ending.Soon after her engagement, I checked Michelle's Pinterest board and discovered she had pinned only one dress. That struck me as a bit odd, because I imagined most brides-to-be would have a lot that they liked, but it was quite apparent that she knew exactly what she wanted.She had worked with this designer during Provo Fashion Week, and knew that she would be happy with the finished product. While compared to a lot of bridal gown budgets, the price for this gown wasn't too outrageous, it was still a lot for our budget. Besides, in the back of my mind I'd always planned on at least trying to sew our only daughter's wedding dress, which I knew we could do for less money than purchasing one. So, we bought Michelle a plane ticket to Florida and ordered some guipure lace.Our inspiration dress was actually a blouse and a skirt, and originally we were going to do that, but then decided that having the skirt attached would not only save fabric, but would prevent the worry of a blouse becoming untucked. We didn't have the pattern from the designer, but that just made the project more exciting and allowed Michelle to unleash her own creativity. We started with the pattern we did have - the one for my wedding dress.She didn't want ruffles or a long train, and definitely didn't want poufy sleeves, but my old wedding dress was a great starting point and resource for making something that did work.Since Michelle also needed a "regular" temple dress (so that she wouldn't have to rent one each time she went), we thought it might be wise to use that dress as our "practice" dress, so that's what we did.After completing that dress, and being satisfied with how it looked, it was time to create the real wedding dress. I'll admit there was a fair amount of mind changing and picking out threads - and wishing the bride had followed the counsel to not show "in progress" pictures to the groom! - but overall the experience was a positive one, and we met our goal to complete it during her visit.Because the airline had misplaced Michelle's luggage on her flight to West Palm, we didn't trust them to not do that again. Besides, her suitcase was pretty full. We decided I would bring the wedding gown in my carry-on luggage when I went to Utah for the wedding. She made room for the temple dress, which could be a "Plan B" if  necessary.All ready to be packed for the big day!Fast forward a month. Michelle had originally wanted a Labor Day weekend wedding, but we had already planned to go on an Alaskan cruise with Wayne's family that week. So, they picked the next available Saturday, September 16th. Our plan was to fly home from Seattle on the 9th, and then fly to Salt Lake a few days later for their wedding.As we were packing for the cruise, we noticed a little thing called Hurricane Irma forming in the Atlantic, but didn't concern ourselves with it too much because the reports had it moving slowly to the south and we would be home and gone again before it reached Florida. The reports changed, but that story deserves its own post.Bottom line, our flight from Seattle to West Palm on September 9th was cancelled, so we rescheduled it to the 11th. When that one was also cancelled we had a problem. We were in Washington, the dress was in Florida, and the[...]

The Tale of the Dress


Happy 35th Anniversary to Us! In honor of this special day, it's time for another wedding story. This year it's the tale of the dress. And this is particularly appropriate because of recent events, to be explained a bit later. Let's start with a bit of my journal entry from 29 May 1982:"I had looked through the bridal magazines and found some dresses I thought were nice so we went to one store. We walked in and there were dresses and things all over the place, but it was kind of dusty and musty. The saleslady also seemed rude; she said it was too late for us to begin looking for an August wedding dress. The experience decided for me that I was definitely going to make my own dress." On that same shopping trip, I found a pattern I liked at Mervyn's, and it was even on sale!A week later it was time to go back to the big city again:"Mom, Holly and I spent another five hours shopping and today we got everything to make my wedding gown - for a total of $110. I wanted lace and we looked all over but I was unable to find exactly what I wanted. Nothing had the look that I had imagined. So, I went with chiffon pleats for ruffling. The sleeves and bodice aren't lace either but a sheer embroidered material over the satin. I had kind of thought about a soft satin, but we finally decided on a stiffer one with more sheen."I originally used the pattern for the dress on the left, although I did raise the neckline a bit and line the sleeves. However, I didn't like the way those sleeves turned out, so we went back to the store for more fabric and I redid the sleeves using the pattern for the dresses on the right. Much better!I no longer have the shoes, and can't even find a picture of them, but they had a story as well. I couldn't find anything in San Jose, which had a plethora of large shoe stores to explore, but did find the perfect sandal in the one tiny shoe store in our small town of Hollister - something similar to this - and also learned (due to the personalized attention and service) that I really was a size 4 1/2, and not the 5 I had always thought.I also can't remember where the idea for the hat came, maybe I just didn't want a plain veil, maybe I saw something in a bridal magazine, but I do remember getting a white hat and covering it with the same sheer fabric and chiffon ruffle that I used in the dress. In addition, I accomplished my goal to finish everything before July! (So there, rude lady in the bridal shop!)Now let's jump ahead 35 years. Our daughter is getting married next month, and she decided that trying to make her own wedding dress would have greater meaning than just buying something. She's right, so she flew home for a couple of weeks so we could do that. Since the first order of business (because she already had a design in mind) was to figure out a pattern, we started with what we had, and that was my old, yellowed wedding gown.She didn't want a long train, she didn't want ruffles, and she definitely didn't want poufy sleeves, but the bodice itself was a good starting point. It was actually wonderful not having to re-create that, and I was grateful that, at least in this case, keeping memorabilia paid off and saved us time and money. You'll have to wait until next month to see the finished product, but I think it's pretty neat that "The Tale of the Wedding Dress" continued on to the next generation.[...]

WFMW - Good Health


I had another idea to post today, but Wayne read this article this morning and I decided to save that idea for next week. It's not procrastinating when it's a conscious choice to do something different, is it? Anyway, this is another "it doesn't really work for us" so I thought it went well with last week's post.

I like the premise of this article, which is that by making small changes and developing good habits, we can change for the better. In fact, I wrote about that here. However, we're doing all of these suggested "healthy habits" and are not seeing any weight loss. What's wrong with that?

These come from an article in the January/February 2017 issue of the Scouting magazine. The author (Jeff Csatari) states: "As we embark on the season of resolutions, here are some simple lifestyle changes for weight loss and better health."

  1. Go for a brisk walk before breakfast.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Pack your lunch every day.
  4. Unclutter your kitchen counter.
  5. Follow the half-plate plan.
  6. Count your blessings.
  7. Go to bed by 10:00 PM.

Wayne doesn't always pack a lunch every day, but he tries to keep business lunches to less than one a week, and we eat less for dinner on those days to compensate. While he walks before breakfast, I walk afterwards; that may make a difference, but maybe not. So, while I agree that all of these ideas are important and helpful, our experience shows that you shouldn't count on them alone to help you with weight loss!
We think these are healthy habits as well, but counting calories is the only thing we've found to help us actually lose weight.

A Day at the Beach


Today's Saturday activity was a trip to the beach, and we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day!! This time it was Lake Worth Municipal Beach, so after enjoying the water and relaxing on the beach, we ate lunch at Benny's on the Beach on the pier. It was nice to be able to share our fun activity with two of our favorite visitors.[...]

WFMW - Procrastination


Every so often these "Works for Me Wednesday" posts weren't actually about things that worked, but things that we wanted to work. I've always struggled with a tendency to procrastinate, particularly on things that I didn't want to do, and this week I felt the need to try harder to not procrastinate. I remember reading a while back some questions to ask yourself to help you get going, so I looked up a couple of articles to see if I could find them again. These may or may not be the same, but they should work. I hope they help me, and I hope they help you!What one thing can I do to get started?What are my three biggest priorities today?How can I make this easier?What will go wrong if I don't do this now?Actually, although those are good ones, I'm pretty sure those aren't the same questions I read before. Neither are these, but they're pretty good ones as well.Should I be doing this?Do I feel overwhelmed with options?Am I distracted?Do I have what I need (skills and resources)?How do I feel?However, I like these two the best.What can I do right now that will make my life more peaceful and joyful later? (Helps with setting priorities.)Will doing this now, rather than later, give me more peace and joy? (Helps with motivation.)So, I've been procrastinating posting this, because I didn't magically change in one week! And while dilly-dallying, I found a few more websites to share. Here's one.This person never got around to checking his spelling or grammar, but if you can look past that, there are some helpful suggestions. This person has helpful suggestions AND proper grammar!Please let me know ways you've found to overcome this problem. I'm hoping that I can turn this weakness into a strength someday before I run out of tomorrows![...]

Another Beautiful Saturday!


It's Florida in the summer, so once again there was rain in the forecast, but we figured if we got an early start we could stay mostly dry, so we did. And we successfully completed the second loop of the "east" side of the Cypress Creek Natural Area (otherwise known as the Hammock Loop Trails) before the rain arrived. The last time we went it was still in the dry season; it was interesting to see the difference a few months makes. Fortunately, although there were a couple of streams to jump over, we didn't have to go slogging through any marshes.Since this trail was round-trip and less than 10 miles (4.69 to be exact), I went on the hike as well.This time Cypress Creek actually had water in it.We took the detour to the overlook once again. I expected more water there, but there was some.Along the way we passed another little lake.And we made it to the canal on the border, to find a new set of crops growing on the other side.It was an absolutely gorgeous day!We drove home through a couple of heavy thunderstorms, replaced the downstairs thermostat, celebrated with a new recipe, and are looking forward to visiting with friends at a wedding reception this evening. We hope you each have a pleasant Saturday as well![...]

Our Finished Closet


Just as a reminder, here are the before pictures:Contents removed, shelves removed, holes patched and everything painted.First order of business was to unload all the components and carry them upstairs. That took a good couple of hours!The fact that the system rests on the floor, as opposed to hanging from the wall, was one of the main reasons for going with this company.At the end of the first day - everything but the handles (which were left at the factory/showroom) and the counter (which was meant to be done later).Wayne did a good job of inspecting, found a couple of minor issues (which were fixed the next day), pronounced it overall very good, and decided the first items to be returned were the suitcases.He didn't like the fact that the top looked unfinished, but that's the way it comes. However, with a little bit of elbow work (and supplies already in the garage), everything is shiny and white, even if no one else will ever see it!For 35 years we've used a laundry basket for a hamper. Personally, I don't mind that because it makes trips to the laundry room easy. However, one of the things we're looking forward to using is the built-in hamper. Hopefully it lives up to our expectations!The finished product - just waiting for our clothes and shoes and momentos to find a new home![...]

Stone Mountain


After a day of driving and a day of church we were ready for a day of playing before the second day of driving, and we had a great time exploring Stone Mountain. We didn't have a great time finding the correct parking lot (the GPS sent us to a side entrance, not the main entrance, and the signs weren't terribly clear), but once we got started on our hike up the mountain we had a great time.Hiking to the top of the mountain is a pretty straight-forward one mile path, and since we took it at a two-year-old's speed, it didn't really require any exertion at all.I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my mom, but was also grateful for Brad's strength and patience, since when you're 75, maybe a two-year-old's speed is still a bit too fast.Brooke found just about every single puddle and enjoyed splashing in them. Because it had rained overnight, there were quite a few! It was also cloudy and overcast for our hike that morning, but that was nice because if the sun had been shining, it would have been hot. There's not a lot of shade to be found on a large granite rock.The hike was not wheelchair compatible, so a few of our family members rode the tram to the top. (The whole group shot was not on my camera, so hopefully I'll be able to add it later.) We arrived about the same time and enjoyed the view together, then they rode back down, along with my mom and the little girls.I'm always intrigued when I find things growing in the crevices of rocks. I'm sure there's a good gospel lesson there.As you can imagine, it didn't take us nearly as long to return to the car.After exploring a bit at the bottom of the hill, and watching a short movie explaining the carving process, we drove to the playground area to have a picnic lunch.That was the end of Stone Mountain, but it wasn't the end of our fun day! Brooke got to go on her special ice cream date with Grandpa. You can guess how she felt about that.The rest of us had fun with Robyn's toys.And then it was time for an early-birthday dinner, complete with a cake that reminded me of the ones my mom made for me growing up.One last story -And one last picture taking session before leaving!Thanks for helping us create some wonderful memories![...]