Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coming visits, special events, and good hard work

June 23, 2009
Once again I have let other things take my time but at 6 PM I’m finally getting around to writing. This morning I put the new “1408 Gent” sign up by the mailbox. It started as the top of a round coffee table and is definitely real wood. We had to replace the former sign because it was particle board with a veneer cover. It was very convincing. I truly through it was solid. However it had reached a sad state of deterioration. The proof is in how well it endures. There must be some moral to this story – like “you can’t always believe your eyes”. It certainly seems that genuine wood furnishings are part of a former generation.
Once the sign was up, I started mowing. We felt a quick sprinkle of rain here Wednesday, but since no rain fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the official reporting station, Seattle matched the 29-day record for consecutive rainless spring days. That stretch of really warm weather ended with plenty of good earth soaking rain. We were delighted because Daddy B.J. threw out grass seed a couple of weeks ago. We have been watering morning and night to give it a chance to grow. A sheen of green is now visible over most of the area and it looks wonderful. Yesterday I took the van to Mike’s auto to see if there was a brake fluid leak. They didn’t find any problems. While I was driving it, the radio was tuned in to golden oldies. A weather forecast said clear weather for today with a return to rain for tomorrow. So I had to mow today.
We are getting excited to pick up Joseph & Kathryn’s family and Ruth and her children Day after tomorrow. At the end of 2008 David and Fatima bought the house next to theirs when it came up for sale. They have volunteered the use of it for all our guests to sleep. Fatima went through her own home and furnished “the blue house” remarkably well. She said the amazing thing is that her own home doesn’t look at all diminished.
Ruth said it will be nice to have plenty of space to sleep but she still plans to spend most of her waking time here. Daddy B.J. and I will be driving both my Chevy and the van to Bellingham to meet their flight. Mike has arranged to borrow a moving van sized truck from a friend and he and Daddy B.J. and Joe will load it with Brooks manufacturing free firewood. Daddy B.J. will drive the truck down and Michael will take it back after Adryann and Brynneé’s baptism Saturday. Saturday also happens to be another Bremerton ward activity, for which I have been getting everything ready.
We are all equally excited about Adryann and Brynneé’s baptism. They turned eight last Thursday. Daddy B.J. and I were there when they came down the first thing that morning. I got some good pictures.
They were getting ready for the birthday party. Adryann and Brynneé invited the children from their school class and a few from church too. Daddy B.J. and I had a ward high priest’s group social that we needed to attend that evening at the Brownsville Marina. While we were away to that David brought nine girls here to enjoy playing in the water.
Daddy B.J. had a wonderful Father’s Day Sunday with a card from Benjamin and phone calls from everyone else. The four missionaries joined us fro dinner and so did Sis and Cliff, who just arrived home from Salt Lake City the night before. David and Fatima and the girls ate a sort of second session of dinner. They arrived just as Sis and Cliff were leaving. Then Daddy B.J. celebrated by taking the rest of the night off and simply going to sleep.
Ken and Gail Timmons have been helping Daddy B.J. in a variety of ways working at Will and Mindie’s house on Vena, cutting up firewood here, doing some landscape cleaning at the office, etc. Gail’s father has been here for a couple of weeks visiting and last weekend they made a trip to Oregon to pick up their seven-year-old son Atiji. Daddy B.J. told them he wanted them to put a roof on the tool shed that he built on at the back of the garage. They were here this morning to talk to him about that. But, Daddy B.J. is a hard man to catch in the morning. He was long gone when they arrived. While they were here Gail said, “Look!” and pointed up the driveway. A momma deer and her fawn were standing by the split rail fence. They watched us watching them. We haven’t had visits in daylight from deer in our own yard. Even more surprising about three hours later, while I was mowing the back yard I looked up to see three deer tripping lightly over Daddy B.J. new grass toward the Monkey Puzzle tree. I was more dedicated to mowing than watching and when I started up the hill with the mower they skidaddled.
Adam is coming to visit too. He doesn’t have the same itinerary but we are eager to see him. Nathan called Friday with a most unusual experience to relate. Since he had been volunteering in the prosecuting attorney’s office, he was allowed to ride along with policemen when they went to serve papers on people. Nathan said that at one place there were several officers and they broke the screen door to get in and then by the time Nathan reached that door, they were breaking down a bedroom door. A dog that Nathan thought was a pitbull came charging toward him or perhaps the office that was next to Nathan. Nathan said it all happened so fast and was so scary that he wasn’t really sure exacting what happened. Anyway Nathan was afraid that the dog might have wanted a chunk of his arm. The office shot him in the head. The dog went flying backward but was not killed. Then because a shot was fired, a report had to be made. Nathan was questioned and was surprised at how little he could say for certain. He said it gave him a different perspective of witness testimony. He was sure that it got his adrenalin pumping.
Debbie and her kids went to visit in Pahrump and the whole bunch of family had a wonderful time together. Jay called Sunday to wish Daddy B.J. a happy Father’s Day. He said this family was on their way home to spend the rest of the day with him and that they were bringing not one but two new Chihauhau puppies with them.
Last Wednesday the Manette Ward missionaries picked up Patrick and he has been with them ever since. They were a companionship of three and having him with them made it possible for them to split up and get a lot more done. I actually bumped into them yesterday at a thrift store and he looked as much like an elder as they did. He is supposed to be home tonight because he is leaving early tomorrow for Helaman’s camp, a missionary training event that the stake puts on every year. Actually I will be driving him and the other two young men from our ward out to Zion’s Camp (our church recreational property not Ruth’s daughter’s place) because Daddy B.J. finally has an appointment with Dr. Redd to have a mold made to make his top denture. Hurrah!
Ruth’s big excitement last week was getting a big yard toy. It was in Las Vegas and had originally sold for $4000, but she paid $250. Her brothers helped her take it apart and the whole family got together in her back yard to re-assemble it. Will even arranged it and their trampoline so that the back yard looked larger than before. Both cousins and neighborhood kids have joined Ruth and Tim’s kids in playing on it.
One other item of note - I have been picking strawberries from our little patch about every other morning. There is only a cup of two or three, but it is plenty when eaten over cottage cheese or yogurt . They are delicious and well worth all the weeding I did to give them a chance to grow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Great Busy Week mid-June 2009

June 16, 2009
Benjamin sent me a copy of a general conference address in German and asked if I could read it.No, I do not read German. Yes, I did study it in high school and college, but that was long ago and I was never very good at it, because I never was immersed in it. To learn a language well, you need to live in the country or at least live in a situation where you are forced to speak it exclusively for several months. I know that over the Internet a person can select from about a hundred languages to listen or have printouts of general conference talks, but how did he get a copy of one in German?
Last weekend was fast Sunday and the family joined in fasting for Joseph and a swift recovery from his Bell’s Palsy. He phoned me a couple of days later and thanked me for inviting the family to fast for him. He said that after Sunday he did begin to see real improvement. He acknowledged our prayers as being key to that. How grateful I am for family prayer!
Speaking of family prayer, David and Fatima’s primary class were assigned the sharing time for last Sunday. They were given the theme of “Family Payer and How It Strengthens The Family”. Fatima asked for my suggestions and I printed up some for them. Unfortunately Fatima and Adryann and Brynneé were very sick with what appeared to be a 24-hour flu, so David had to do it alone. He phoned me that evening and said it worked out wonderfully well for him. He had his class members do exercises and lift some weights he brought. He explained that exercise builds muscle. Then he told them about another exercise and had them fold their arms, bow their heads, and knees. He then explained and asked questions of them and the rest of the primary children about prayer and how it could strengthen faith, trust in Heavenly Father, humility, family members understanding each other better, etc. Since his children are only 5-6 years old and don’t read yet, he had them wad up the printout of the various items and let them toss them to try to make “baskets”. His own class loved all of it and some of the other kids actually stood and clapped at the end, which of course is not very reverent behavior. So the primary leaders explained that in primary we don’t clap we just hold up a hand and “give them a hand” of appreciation that way. Remember when we used to do that in Cub Scouts?
Nathan called me with an interesting report. A few years back I purchased a small MP3 player for Daddy B.J., which he used and enjoyed till he bought an I-Pod. He gave the MP3 player to Nathan, who enjoyed it for quite a while and he made the same upgrade as his father. Nathan passed the MP3 player to Jordan, who enjoyed it for quite a while. Now he also has moved on and passed the little MP3 down to Travis, who is enjoying it in turn. We Gents certainly are good about sharing and/or recycling to get all the good we can from our earthly possessions!
Nathan also shared what I found to be very interesting information. Pahrump is in Nye County, which is the 3rd largest county in the United States roughly 18,150 sq. miles. Only Coconino County, Arizona, with about 18,600 sq. miles and San Bernardino County, California, with about 20,000 sq. miles are bigger. Nathan drove to the county seat in Tonopah for a task from the prosecuting attorney’s office where he is volunteering this month. It took him three hours each way! I asked him if he had his spray bottle along to keep cool. He said that Joseph had told him about a mechanic in his ward who was out of work and could fix his car’s air conditioning at a great price. So for the first time in the three years since he has had the car, he need not be embarrassed about asking girls on dates in his “hot car”.
David and Fatima asked me to volunteer at Adryann and Brynneé’s school’s field day. So I spent Wednesday morning with a group of twelve K-3rd graders, which included the girls as they moved from event to event running, throwing, relay racing, etc. One of the girl’s classmates asked if I knew about their upcoming birthday party and I said yes. Adryann and Brynneé together said that I made the invitations for the party. The other child looked very impressed, which made me feel great.
I finally accomplished a missionary effort I had been thinking about for months. Two of the postal workers where I check our mailbox almost daily have been extra nice to me. They greet me by my name whenever I go to the window. Since the man has an accent, I asked Mr. Hun where he was from. He said Korea. He told me that the other clerk that day was his sister. If I get to the post office in the morning, they are usually the clerks on duty. His sister has been the one to help me on Saturdays when I have a notice in our box to pick-up anything too large to fit. Though the windows aren’t open on Saturday, patrons can knock on a door and someone will fetch their parcel. A couple of weeks ago I ordered two Book of Mormons in Korean. Thursday morning I was surprised that no one but me was in the main foyer. Mr. Hun’s sister was checking keys to see that they worked in un-rented boxes. There was a notice to pick-up in my box and Mr. Hun was at the window. He brought out our package and from the return address I knew it had to be the Book of Mormons. I said, “I know what’s in there,” and started to try to cut open the tape with my keys. Mr. Hun immediately picked up a pair of scissors and opened the box for me. I lifted out the books and told him that since he and his sister had always been so nice to me, I wanted to give them the books. He asked if I could read them and I said no, but that I knew they were Book of Mormons. Now, you have got to know that at least two or three people and sometimes a dozen are in that foyer when I pick up our mail. Heavenly Father prepared the perfect opportunity for me to present the books. I would have been too shy and/or felt guilty about delaying other customers, if anyone else had been present.
I spent many hours on several days last week using David and Fatima’s pressure washer to clean the pavement, stepping-stones and play equipment around our house. We are very excited about Joseph & Kathryn’s family and Ruth and her children coming next week on vacation.
We want everything to be as nice as it can be. Daddy B.J. finally got the ground filled and smoothed in a consistent grade to his satisfaction and sowed grass seed. He has been watering every morning and night and we are praying it will sprout and grow. We have a 26-day dry spell going and we know it isn’t the best time to be trying to plant a lawn. With luck a bit of green sheen will be visible by the time our company arrives.
Friday night the missionaries held a baptism here and then a new-member barbeque. Guests brought picnic side dishes. I made a batch of chocolate and yellow cupcakes. Daddy B.J. was miserable with the pain of the gum surgery he had Monday, so he actually laid down and I truly ended up being the hostess. There were about thirty folks here and the children loved the water, paddle boats, canoes, rope swing, etc. It was a very warm day and perfect for playing. Daddy B.J. had asked the missionaries earlier to build a fire in our fire pit and I brought down marshmallows. Michael and Anna Kate phoned us on June 13th, which was Anna Kate’s 2nd birthday. Michael said she loved the birthday card we made and sent her and kept saying and pointing to “dinosaur”, “daddy”, “mommy” and “Anna Kate” herself. Over the phone she actually said, “Thank you, Gramma.” Michael said the family was heading to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to celebrate her birthday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Washing galore

June 7, 2009
It was a week for washing. Monday Michael Pierson helped me and we washed all the house windows. Just washing wouldn’t have taken so long, but I noticed quite a bit of paint on the edges of the panes and took a notion to scrape it off before washing. I will credit that with causing the job to run over onto Tuesday. With the magnificent view we have, it is a delight to be able to enjoy it through clean windows.
Tuesday was one of the most important days of the year. It was Daddy B.J.’s and my 43rd wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by telling each other frequently how much we loved each other and reading “Fanny’s Dream” together at the close of the day. I found a copy of this children’s book after Daddy B.J. was so impressed with the talk “Choosing a Marriage Partner” by Brent A Barlow. His talk included a reading of that book. Daddy B.J. might not be a prince and I might not be a princess but we certainly agree that in each other’s eyes we are “close enough”.
I think I mentioned months ago about Todd Hilton’s going to the Philippines to bring home a bride, whom he met on the Internet. It fell through and he is terribly discouraged. He went to the Manila temple to talk to the Lord about his situation. After completing a session and praying and thinking in the celestial room he went outside to sit by the fountain and think some more. A lovely young woman there asked him what he was doing and he replied that he was looking for his wife. She was there for precisely the same purpose and had been praying mightily about finding her own mate. She was twenty-seven and a returned missionary and wanted a temple marriage. Todd had a week-and-a-half left of his vacation time and they spent as much of that time as possible getting to know each other. Then they corresponded by e-mail for seven months. Mila bore her testimony in our testimony meeting today. She speaks fairly good English. At least you can figure out what she means. She said she had prayed throughout the past months to have circumstances or Heavenly Father intervene if Todd were not the man she should marry. She didn’t expect to get her visa when she applied. She had friends, who had been waiting between eighteen months and two years without approval. Hers went right through and she arrived on the 25th of May. Todd had previously been married in the temple so they are awaiting a temple cancellation so he and Mila can be sealed. Our stake president said he thinks it will come through soon, since they had all the requested letters. Mila’s testimony was beautiful. Her faith is strong and she delights in seeking to follow Heavenly Father’s plan for her.
Now the reason I bring this up is because Mila stayed in Seattle with Todd’s former wife and his two children and their step-father till Tuesday. Then she started sleeping nights in the small bedroom directly downstairs from ours. With Michael here for the week and Patrick’s stay of undetermined duration that gave us a full house.
Wednesday I picked up David and Fatima’s pressure washer, which we took into Roy’s appliance two weeks ago. I spent all day Thursday working on steps outside the living room and the walkway leading to it from the circle drive. It seemed pitifully weak, which I complained to Daddy B.J. about. He told me to ask Roy’s about it. I did and they said they hadn’t checked it for pressure at all, just did whatever was necessary to make it start readily. So I took it in again and within the hour they called Daddy B.J.’s cell phone with the news that it needed a pressure valve. That being the case we figured I had slaved away with just the force of a garden hose! I can hardly wait to try it again with the new part.
My stint of washing on Friday was simply the windows of my car inside and out. That went along with vacuuming and dusting it to prepare it for our temple trip that evening. We participated with our ward sealing team. It was wonderful to think of the individualss we served as being able to be together with their sweethearts for eternity. Daddy B.J. and I are grateful for the eons ahead of us to go on enjoying each other’s company. It was also touching to think of each child being reunited with his/her parents as they were sealed to them. Christ-like parents love their children so dearly. What a joy to be able to share that association eternally.
Saturday evening Daddy B.J. was the bishop asked to welcome the children, who had been baptized at the stake’s child of record baptism. There were four children. Arynne Geier from our ward was baptized. She was in the class of Ctr 7-8, which I taught in Primary the next morning. David (who one of my seminary students) and Monique Steven’s daughter Zoe was one of the others. Her grandmother, Mitzy Stevens, whom I hadn’t seen in years was there to accompany Zoe’s older sister Torri as she sang a solo. Since baptism is the Savior’s requirement for washing sins away – though children younger than eight are sinless – I guess you could say we finished the week with that special kind of washing.
We had some fun phone calls this past week. One was from Fatima’s mother in Brazil. She called to thank us for the birthday card we sent her. What a sweetheart she is. She apologized in English for not speaking English so well. Ha! – as if I would even consider trying to talk to her in Portuguese. I also enjoyed talking to Debbie, Ruth, Michael, Kathryn, and Nathan. Best of all I had a letter from Benjamin. He, by the way, mentioned receiving several letters from many loved ones and caring friends – Gramma Toni in particular.
I have been reading a chapter from the New Testament along with a chapter from the Book of Mormon each morning. I started Matthew after finishing the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Last week I read:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:4-40) [My emphsis added.]
Well that passage alone tells us where Toni will be after this life.
I had a fun encounter last week. When I went to get a gas can to pick up fuel for the pressure washer, a frog about 1 ½ inches long was asleep on the handle or at least pretending to. He didn’t move as I picked up the can and carried it to the ferns, which Daddy B.J. has planted along the cement bulkhead on the south side of the backyard. The frog almost exactly matched the color of the fern frond where I left him. Now when I listen to them in the evening as I water the berries, grapes, and flowers I smile to think I have met one of the tiny croakers.

Hey it is Monday the 8th and I need to take Daddy B.J. to the oral surgeon so the doctor can cut open B.J.’s upper gums and grind down the bumps on the bone, which Dr. Redd said needs to be smoothed. That will make and upper denture seat better so that natural suction will hold it in place and it will be more comfortable too. Things really do often get worse before they get better. Farewell for now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial Day and Rounding the Corner Into June 2009

Last weekend was a 3-day celebration of Memorial Day. I got into the spirit of things by getting a new (to me) American flag ready to post outside. It was one with the embroidered stars and the stripes of red and white sewn together. It replaced a badly faded one that was only printed on a single piece of fabric. It is considerably heavier, which means the blessing of it not wrapping around its pole so easily. Before I would feel guilty about it’s rolling itself up and leaving it or take the required time to unroll it several times each day. I have assigned Patrick the job of putting it up and taking it down.
Saturday evening May 23rd David dropped by in the evening with Adryann and Brynneé and the dogs, Barbie and Deja. The instant Deja saw the cat, he took out after Abby like an arrow sailing to the target. We called the dog and she returned and we didn’t think anything more about it. Sunday morning Patrick could hear Abby and discovered that her meowing was coming from up in the monkey puzzle tree. We took out one extension ladder and it’s sixteen feet proved too short. We thought that perhaps the other one we had here was longer, but were wrong. Patrick suggested calling the fire department, which idea I vehemently rejected. Thank goodness I was here to say, “No.” We had to leave her to go to church. When Daddy B.J. returned after a long day of meetings, which is typical for a bishop any Sunday, we asked him to see if he could get her down. His first fatigued answer was, “When she gets hungry enough, she’ll climb down.” I wasn’t sure of that. Since he will do anything for me that I really want, he started thinking. He remembered having one longer extension ladder. I was inspired to suggest that it must be at David and Fatima’s. He didn’t know if that was possible but called David, who said we could look over what he had. On the way I asked Daddy B.J. if he would recognize his ladder. He laughed and said that after the hours he had spent on it painting, he would unquestionably know it. David showed him one that wasn’t it and then said that he had a couple more in the garages not adjoining the house. They disappeared into the thicket of storage and came out carrying the twenty-four footer. Reaching up much closer to the lowest branches, it allowed my tall husband to extend a hand and words of encouragement that enticed Abby to him. Well, perhaps after almost twenty-four hours, she was willing to sacrifice some of her proud standoffish -ness.
Sunday for sacrament meeting Daddy B.J. called A.J. Portune, who was home on leave and in his US Marine dress uniform, to come to the stand as a visual aid. Daddy B.J. asked to remember that first and foremost Jesus Christ gave his life for us, but that also many others sacrificed for our freedoms and beliefs. He invited the audience to come forward and suggest a hymn that had particular meaning for them in that connection and to say the verse they wanted to sing. My eyes started brimming immediately and a Kleenex soaked up a lot of overflow. Ivy Greene talked about our ward’s cub scouts going to Miller-Woodlawn cemetery to place small American flags by the graves of all with records of military service. The Cemetery also posts full-sized flags along its driveways. Ivy said how impressive the whole hillside dotted with flags looked. She mentioned that she had served in the Navy and how Memorial Day and being part of the flag brigade touched her. You can see some of the pictures she took. Copy and paste:
Chad Teasley was dressed in his Naval officer’s uniform and told us about an email he had received that morning. His best friend from submarine training and through their first duty assignment sent a message. They drifted apart for about fifteen years but found each other again a few years ago. Seeing that Chad was still active duty inspired him to join the National Guard and he is now in Iraq and commands escorts for convoys. The night before a vehicle packed with explosives drove into his convey and he didn’t even know the death toll yet. Chad’s sharing made the meaning of Memorial Day clearer.
Dale Magneson shared about living in a barracks during his duty time in Germany. The building was named after a pilot who died flying his plane in the Berlin Airlift when United States Air Force, Royal Air Force, and other Commonwealth nations flew over 200,000 flights that provided 13,000 tons of food daily for a year to the blockaded Berlin. Dale requested verse three of America the Beautiful, the one about “for heros proved in liberating strive, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!” For the closing song Daddy B.J. asked A.J. to tell what his favorite song was and Daddy instructed us to sing all verses. A.J. chose “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.”
After sacrament meeting I drove Rita Kerner home. Upon returning one of our missionaries asked if I could take Amber Hardee home. I was eager to chat for bit with this recent convert, who was a friend of Benjamin’s about ten years ago. She is bi-polar and suffers from depression. She said she had been getting things put together quite well a couple years ago with a job as a receptionist with potential for advancement and Section 8 Houseing for herself and five children when someone introduced her to Methamphetamine, which for her led to immediate and un-preventable addiction. She lost everything including her children, who were placed with her parents. She said she has been clean for nine months and is working toward getting her children back. I asked if she was job hunting but she said “No, I have SSI and that’s enough.” She said her big problem was being lonely but that an old friend had recently returned to the area and it was good having his company.
The Relief Society book club selected “The Untamed Land” by Lauraine Snelling for next month’s discussion. I took that Sunday evening to start rereading it and found it wonderful again. I think I will slowly reread the whole series. It was announced this morning at church that Phil and Crystal Sutton had accepted the call as service missionaries for the next two years to run the Bremerton Home Storage Center, otherwise known as the dry-pack cannery. Consequently she will be released as the book club leader. I enjoyed the book so much. I’m glad I read it before learning about the change.
Monday I spent about five hours working in the back yard again, cutting or pulling weeds, raking the area around our canoes and boats and bridge and hauling the debris away. Looking forward to a ward father/son overnighter the following Friday inspired quite a lot of cleaning for both Daddy B.J. and me. He emptied out the breezeway and used the weed-eater all around the house, circle driveway, and garden. I took care of rock-removal to make mowing better up at the street, and then mowed everywhere Friday morning.
Tuesday I went to the zoo with Fatima, Adryann and Brynneé.
The girls rode in the bus to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma but parents were to drive, so I went with Fatima. I really enjoyed out visit. At one point we were both enjoying the roadside painted with the gold of Scotch Broom in full blossom. She said that when he first moved here, she thought it was so lovely that she picked a bunch and took it to David’s office. She said she didn’t understand why staff and patients headed for all the doors. She was laughing as she recalled it, but many folks viewed it as a demon, blaming it for the misery of allergies.
Fatima mentioned that she had talked to Mama Cida on her birthday Sunday. As soon as she said that the light went on in my head. My father and Fatima’s mom did share the same date. Ouch. I love her mom and repented as fast as I could. I had my camera with me and took pictures at the zoo.
When I got homeI worked on those along with cell phone pictures Daddy B.J. took when we took the Adryann and Brynneé to meet their parents at the Seattle Temple (on May 1st). I chose the best ones from both series, added a letter I created with the help of the Yahoo Babel Fish website, which translates from English to Portugueese, and made a birthday card that evening.
Wednesday I ran some one-time-only errands and picked up Adryann and Brynneé after school till their mother finished with an appointment. All three were excited because they were leaving the next day for Las Vegas and a visit with relatives while David attended a seminar there. Thursday I took the whole day to be with Daddy B.J. I was his chauffeur. He had appointments in Lakewood south of Tacoma and then up in Seattle. Both were with clients he sold insurance to several years ago. The second was in the building where he taped his radio ads when he first started working with the “Building Your own Bank” ideas.
Then we went to the wet-pack cannery in Kent and worked for about three hours canning tomato sauce for the church welfare program. Our ward had been given the assignment to provide at least four volunteers and B.J. mentioned that morning that since we were driving right by we could stop and help. Two others from our ward did go, so we helped us save face.
For the father/son overnighter Friday I counted there were seven tents set up in our backyard. Saturday morning the elder’s quorum prepared a great breakfast for all the participants and at 9:00 we startedour ward yard clean-up activity service project at the homes of eight ward member’s. Daddy B.J. picked up a rental truck and worked on the move of Jadi and Todd Hoisington to her mother’s home in Belfair. I as always didn’t actually work at one place but went from site to site taking pictures. Then I returned to our house to set-up a small picnic of hot dogs, chili, potato salad, and ice cream for our volunteeers. The beehive leader, who is moving next weekend brought her class of girls out for a swimming activity and we invited them to join in our picnic.
Leah brought Michael and Joshua to us about 6:30 PM. She will be in California as a paid representative of the union for home-health care-givers till May 8th. Joshua will spend the most of the time with a less active LDS family, who have a boy in his school class. Michael will be with us. He will be in the bedroom beside my office.Tonight the fiancé of Todd Hilton will come to stay in the bedroom beneath ours. She arrived from the Philpinnes Saturday morning and has a three month visa. If they don’t marry within that time, she will return to her homeland. We met her at church this morning and look forward to getting to know her.
The big news for the week is the Ruth and her children and Joseph & Kathryn and their children have their plane tickets and will arrive in Bellingham on June 25th. Tim won’t be able to come because he will be studying to retake the bar exam at the end of July. It will be an eventful visit for all because Saturday 27th Adryann and Brynneé will be baptized. Mike and Jenna said they would be here for that too. It will be interesting to see how Heavenly Father goes about helping us have our bedrooms back for our own family by their arrival time.
Saturday the 30th I was up till midnight printing up pictures from the activity for our church bulletin board and posting the photos to a Kodak gallery on the Internet. At least the following day was an easy Sunday, one without a committee meeting or ward council for me to attend. Our choir has a new director and a new practice time – right after church. When one of the choir members said how hard it was to learn her part without a piano, I mentioned The Church’s music website and that parts for all the hymns can be listened to separately. No one else seemed to know about it so when I returned home I prepared an e-mail. Here it is for you:
Fellow choir members,
Here is the website for the Interactive Church Music Player. Copy and paste it into the address line of your browser. It goes to the page for selecting a hymn from an alphabetical listing of all the hymns. Select a hymn by clicking on its name. Give it time to load, which will vary according the speed of your Internet provider. Then scroll down the options in the left-hand column. From the Music Parts/ Volume choose the part you want to hear. It should be the only box with an “x” in front of it. Scroll to the top and click on the circle in front of Music with Parts. Then click on the play button, which is a large gray circle with a white arrow in it. The part you chose will play.,17929,4782-1-1,00.html
Just remember that I have it saved on my computer and ask me for it whenever you are interested.

Tuesday June 2nd – Today Daddy B.J. and I have been married for forty-three years.
I had it at the top of my list to finish a letter to Benjamin yesterday but here I am still typing away. Yesterday I thought it necessary to get Michael involved in some work, so I decided to wash windows. Well I finished the major part at 7:00 PM last night and we gathered for Family Home Evening. Daddy B.J. had each of us share a story from an Ensign or New Era. There was ice cream left over from Saturday’s activity for refreshments.
I had the chance to talk to both Debbie and Michael yesterday. Debbie said this was the final week for her boys to be juniors. In the fall they will be seniors. Debbie said now that T.J. has a girlfriend, he is consumed. She offered that excuse because I asked if T.J. had received his birthday card. That card caused a small problem. Daddy B.J. insisted we mail it along with a copy of The Church’s new Gospel Art Book. Jay was concerned that favoratism was being shown to T.J. since the cards for the other children arrive in smaller envelopes without presents. Oh, my! I do try so hard to be impartial. The book had just been published and it’s cost is nominal – a case of twenty for $30 or only $1.50 each. Daddy B.J. didn’t think T.J. would think of it as being exclusively his – but more for the whole family. Hear ye! Hear ye! We LOVE all our grandchildren equally and almost as much as we love their parents.
Debbie said T.J. is taking his girlfriend to the junior prom and Debbie has helped him buy a tuxedo – piece by piece over the Internet. He is amazed at how expensive such functions are from clothes and admission tickets to going in with friends to rent a limo for the evening. In a high-income real estate and school area the currency departs in large demoninations in flocks of bills. I’m grateful my children were so relatively afordable. Debbie said her family had Mike and Jenna with Anna Kate and Jenna’s sister Brianna join them one evening last week and how wonderful it was to be with family. That as always was music to my ears. Daddy B.J. and I are thrilled to have such loving children, who enjoy each other so much.
Michael told me that he and Jenna, Anna Kate and Brianna flew to Los Angeles the Monday of Memorial Day and returned to Bellingham last Saturday. Alligiant Airlines had a “Tax Day Special” on April 15th with tickets to L.A. for $15. They snapped those up and enjoyed the Disneyland fantasy world as well as seeing Debbie’s family.
Michael said he had a good long phone chat with Joseph and that Joseph shared about the misery he is going through. Joseph doesn’t ever complain so this was news to Daddy B.J. and me. Joseph has Bell’s Palsy. is an excellent website for learning about the malady. Joseph went to his doctor because of his symptoms and he doctor said he had a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics. Joseph reasoned that since he had never heard of an infection creating pain, the doctor wasn’t right. He went to the Internet, described his symptoms, and discovered they matched up well to Bell’s Palsy. He returned to his doctor with that assumption. The doctor did some tests and agreed. Since the problem originates with a virus, there is limited help in actually fighting the source. However the doctor was able to prescribe pain-relief meds. Joseph confessed his problem to Michael only because they had been talking for about twenty minutes - talking brings on the pain. Joseph said he didn’t think his case was very noticeable to others. Michael heard Kathryn from the background say, “Yes it is!”
Anyway, next Sunday is fast Sunday. Please keep Joseph in your prayers. We will put his name on the prayer roll at the temple Friday. We’ll be going with our ward temple trip, but since Daddy B.J. has a seminar-workshop tonight, we won’t be celebrating our anniversary till the 5th.