During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Am a Child of God

 Today I have had the pleasure of visiting and listening to two different Primary Sacrament Meeting programs where beautiful children have shared what they have learned in Sunday Primary throughout the past year with many wonderful songs, scriptures, and other talks.  The Primary theme for this year has been I Am a Child of God, perhaps one of the sweetest, most informative songs we can teach our children, or anyone else for that matter.  The words were written by Naomi Ward Randall back in 1957, and have been a source of comfort and strength to millions of children and adults since that time.  

I found it interesting that the message presented by President Thomas S. Monson  to women throughout the world at last nights General Relief Society Meeting was essentially the same: "My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you, each of you.  That love never changes."  and  "Prayer is life's greatest blessing."  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Movie Night

DH has been a bit under the weather for the past week.  I do wish that he was feeling better, but I must admit that it was nice to have him stay home from work last night.  After I mowed the lawn and we rustled up something to eat, we were able to settle in and have a movie night together, something that we really don't do that often. 

Napoleon Dynamite was the movie of  choice (DH had picked it up from the library.)  I haven't seen the show since it came out on DVD probably about eight years ago, and probably wouldn't have thought of it myself.  I did enjoy the wackyness of the show back then, and again last night.  It has a sweetness about it that reminds us that we're all different, most of us are a little bit wacky or weird in our own way, but that's ok.  People are good. 

Thanks for the movie night, DH.  ♥♥♥

(I couldn't get the Utube video of the official trailer to load onto the blog, but you can watch it at Napoleon Dynamite)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When DH Fixes Dinner

My DH pretty well knows his way around the kitchen.  While we were dating he would often fix dinner for me or we would cook and clean up together.  Once we entered the real world of daily living his cooking didn't happen as often.  He will still take a turn at fixing a dish for the family potluck or an evening treat, but most of the time dinner prep has been my responsibility.  Tonight I just haven't been feeling quite on top of things, so  it was very lovely when he came home from work and offered to fix us something to eat.  Eggs and toast is a simple enough meal, but hey, it did the job and hit the spot.  Thanks for dinner DH!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Hodgepodge of Blessings

I couldn't think of just one outstanding occurance or blessing today, so here's a hodgepodge of random good things from today:

*     Leftover roastbeef sandwich and coleslaw for dinner
*     Phone calls from two different dear daughters
*     A nice visit with a new neighbor  and a nice short chat with a former neighbor
*     Another lunch break in the warm sunshine
*    Several new and interesting tasks at work
*    One good productive meeting at work
*    New possible job opportunities for DH and DD4
*    Leftover chocolate ice cream

I hope that you've all had a hodgepodge of blessings today too!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Family

Over 50 years ago I was born into a family where my mother and father honored their marital vows with complete fidelity.  They taught their six children principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, and work, and gave us opportunities for wholesome recreational activities.  I’m grateful for a father who provided the necessities of life and a mother who has spent her lifetime nurturing her children and others. 

Thirty years ago I was blessed with a wonderful companion as my husband who has also honored our marital vows with complete fidelity.   We have been blessed over the years with our own six beautiful children who were each created in the image of God and who each have their own divine nature and destiny.   We have done our best to care for each other and for our children, and to rear them with love and righteousness.  

Eighteen years ago today, on September 23, 1995, a modern day prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley first presented The Family, A Proclamation To The World in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ General Relief Society Meeting.  The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.  He warned that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by both ancient and modern prophets.
I’m grateful for my family.  I’m grateful for the guidance that this proclamation gives to us all.  It is my wish and my prayer that people and families throughout the world will turn to their families and use these simple, basic principles to maintain and strengthen their homes and in so doing, strengthen and maintain our society.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cake and Ice Cream

This weekend we celebrated DD4's 18th birthday.  It was a quiet celebration with just a few of us gathered for presents and conversation, and of course, chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream!  Yea for cake and ice cream, the traditional birthday dessert!  It's been a few months since we've had a birthday at our house, so we really enjoyed the treat.

For most of my growing up years my family had cake and ice cream for dessert almost every Sunday.  And then, of course, there were always leftovers for after school snacks on Monday.  In our home now we usually have a dessert of some sort on a Sunday, but it's usually cookies rather than cake and ice cream, so now our birthday treats are extra special.   Thanks, DD4, for having a birthday! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Trivial Pursuit

The other day at the thrift store I found a never-been-used Trivial Pursuit game for $1.99.  Seeing as how the game is going for about $49.00 on Amazon, I thought this was a pretty darn good deal.  In our family we've been on a bit of a Trivial Pursuit game trip lately, and various members of the family have picked up their own games at various thrift stores lately.   Since  DD4 has moved out and gone to college, I thought it would be nice addition to her game collection.  Happy Brithday DD4!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Catching Some Rays

A few weeks ago I mentioned how much I am enjoying my Lunchbreaks  now that I am working full time.  I think that one of the reasons that I enjoy them so much is that I am able to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, usually away from the bustle and stress of the work day.  I can eat my lunch, relax in the sunshine, and listen to the birds, the breeze and sometimes even the sound of the running water of the fountains.  Now that the weather is cooling off, the fountains are no longer running, but I can still enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air, at least most days now.

The other day I ran accross this article from the Huffington Post, The Habits of Supremely Happy People
which listed 21 habbits that happy people have that you can easily add to your own life.  One of these was going outside every day, if only for as little as 20 minutes.  So, if for some reason you're not feeling particularly happy right now, try to take some time to enjoy the outdoors, breath in the fresh air, maybe take a little walk, and catch a few rays.  And then find your way to the Huffington Post article to see a few other things that you can maybe make the effort to do and add a bit more happiness to your life. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


This past weekend my dear SIL hosted another family potluck dinner.  The theme for this one was 1950's recipes.  DH has been talking about meatloaf for several weeks now, so I was plannning on making one sometime in the near future, but of course this was the perfect occasion.  I looked up several recipes online just to make sure we were being authentic, and chose the above recipe (see link) for my guide.   We whipped up a big tripple batch of meatloaf  (I did substitute a bit of ground oatmeal for some of the breadcrumbs and some purred tomatoes for the ketchup since that's more what my mother used to make) and a big batch of mashed potatoes and gravy and carried it all off to dear SIL's house.  Of course, as usual, there was way too much food for everyone to eat, so I sent one meatloaf home with my dear MIL and since then we have been enjoying lots of leftovers!   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Instagram Great Gram Day

Today is Insta Great Gram Day.  I'm not an instagram person; haven't quite reached that level of technology yet, but I would like to celebrate Insta Great Gram Day along with some of my fellow bloggers. 

I've posted briefly about my grandparents before, but today I would like to honor my great grandparents Albert Smith and Mary Ann Storton Smith, who as young parents left their homeland and lives in Harlestone, Northampton, England, and immigrated to America in 1882.   They worked hard all of their lives as a butcher and a homemaker, and left a legacy for their posterity here in America

What do you know about your grandparents, great grandparents, and other ancestors?   A great place to find out more and to share what you do know with others is www.familysearch.org/photos/.  Just now I found some new photos of Albert and Mary Ann that I didn't have before:

 Go ahead, take a peek, and have some fun!

Friday, September 13, 2013


We have been having quite a bit of rain lately, as maybe many others around the country.  In the past two weeks we've probably received more rain than in the past three months all together.  I'm not complaining at all, even though at times it has been a bit inconvenient and I haven't had quite the amount of yard work time that I was hoping for.  We have had a hot and dry summer, we need the rain, and I've only needed to actually use an umbrella once.

Probably even more than I have enjoyed the rain, however, I have enjoyed watching the rainbows and the clouds.   I've seen more rainbows in the past few weeks than I've seen in the past couple of years, but I've especially enjoyed watching the different clouds.  The cumulus clouds pictured above are very typical of our area and can bring scattered rain showers throughout the spring, summer and fall, but this week we've seen thicker cloud cover and darker days.  One evening earlier this week the day had been basically rain free, and I spent several hours in the evening pulling weeds from the garden.  I enjoyed some time resting in the grass and doing some cloud gazing, watching the light and shadows and the changes in the clouds as they thickened and darkened and moved across the early evening sky.   The cloud cover gives us a rest and respite from the hot sun, and brings much needed moisture.  Often times the clouds obscure our view . . . of the blue skies, the night time moon and stars, the majestic mountain peaks, and if they come low enough as they often do in the winter months, they can even obscure our vision of our own neighborhoods and roads as fog.  But experience has taught me that the clouds and the fog eventually pass, and the blue sunny skies that I love do eventually return to my view.  

Sometimes the good things in our lives can be hidden or obscured from our vision by clouds of troubles and challenges, and even by our own doubts and fears.  I need to remember that the good things are still there, even though the cloudy and challenging days might obscure my view and memory of the good.  I need to have patience and faith that the bright sunny days will return, just as they always do, and try to find the majesty and the beauty in the clouds.     

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gardening Tools

I had some time this evening to putter in the garden.  The job of the season is getting rid of some very large and overgrown weeds.  Some I am able to pull out by hand.  Others require the aid of my trusty old spade, similar to the one above but many years older.  I still love and trust and use it every year.  I'm grateful for my spade.  Ocassionally I would come across a bunch of weeds so thick and tough and tall that instead of my spade, I grabbed the long-handled pruning shears.  These shears are not quite as old as the spade, but still well loved and well used as we do have several trees and a number of shrubs on the property.  They also work well on tall, tough, overgrown patches of weeds that I don't feel ready to dig out.  I'm grateful for my prunning shears. 

I do have several other gardening tools that I use and appreciate, mainly rakes and hoes and small hand trowels, and pruners but my spade and my prunning shears are probably my faves.    

Monday, September 9, 2013


I've previously mentioned my next door neighbor and his kindness several times.  He is famous for his tomatoes and shares them with anyone and everyone who might be interested.  Last spring when he shared two of his tomato plants and cages with me, I asked if there was anything I might plant that would be beneficial to him . . . and he said "cucumbers."  So, I planted a few cucumber plants along the fence that separates our backyards.  I've tried to keep them somewhat weeded and watered, but I suspect that he waters them more than I do.  I've trained them to grow up the fence, and now we have quite the crop of nice big slicing cucumbers.  And even though I've mentioned them several times, I'm not sure that dear neighbor has partaken of the bounty.  But we have.  Fresh homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes.  What more can you ask for?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dear Daughters

I have been looking through some photos from our family's activities this past summer and happened to run across this one from about 15 years ago.  It's definitely not the best quality photo, but it makes me smile. My daughters are each about 3 years apart in age with distinct talents and personalities.  They are all now lovely ladies; ones that I consider my dearest friends.  Though we are scattered right now, I love and appreciate all of my dear daughters and look forward to being together again with them all soon!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday's Faves

This is one of my favorite songs ever!

I can't get this one to load onto the blog, but you can go to youtube to hear another of my favorites:


I'm grateful for music and inspired song writers!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Several years ago we had the opportunity to buy several cases of different kinds of pasta for our food storage.  We still had young children at the time, so of course we bought several cases of macaroni & cheese, but we also bought some lasagna, rotelli, spagetti, macaroni and shells.  We bought quite a lot of pasta.  A bit later a family member offered us the chance to acquire even more cases of pasta.  Needless to say, we have had plenty of pasta in our food storage for years, and it keeps very well!

The macaroni and cheese is actually gone now, as is the rotelli, but we still have a nice variety of pasta.  Sometimes I will still buy fettuccini or acini de pepe or orzo or bow ties or frozen ravioli for some extra variety.  As you might be able to tell, we tend to have pasta of some form or another at least once a week.  At one point the children complained that they always knew that Tuesday night would be pasta night (usually spagetti), since I needed something quick to fix between dance class or soccer or academic team games and the Young Men or Young Women's Mutual activity.  After that I tried to mix it up a bit by having tacos or sloppy joes or some other quick fix on some Tuesday nights.  Lasagne or Pasta Primavera dinners happen less frequently since they take a bit more time and effort to prepare.  

A few of my children are not real big fans of pasta anymore . . . . they've probably had it a few times too many . . .  but DH and I still enjoy a nice pasta dinner on a regular basis. 

photo source

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite Appliances

Back in the day, (my newlywed days), my favorite appliance was my Food Processor.  It could slice, dice, grate, blend, puree . . . and I used it often.  Often enough that I just about wore it out . . .carrot cake, zucchini bread, salsa, applesauce, and even cheescake are many of the dishes that I use the food processor for.  So when a dear neighbor was going to give hers away because she never used it, I offered to take it off her hands.  I still use it often. 

Fast forward a few years and my DH gifted my my all-time very most favorite appliance:

I have often said that if I had to save just one thing from my kitchen, it would be the Kitchen Aid mixer.  I have always loved to bake, and this appliance has made my life so much easier and baking so much more enjoyable.  Bread, cookies, butter cream frosting, pulled pork, and on and on.  I love it!

Not too long ago DH gifted me with the Nesco 3 function digital pressure cooker.  It has also become one of my favorite appliances where I can quickly cook beans, pork, roast beef, chicken veggies and many other dishes with pressure, (very quietly, I might add) and then continue to slow cook them or keep them warm with the crockpot like function.   It hasn't come close to being number 1 on my list, but it is probably next in line.

So what is your favorite small appliance?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

On this Labor Day I am grateful for my very first paid holiday.  I was able to putter at home pulling weeds, watering the lawn, doing laundry and ironing shirts in between checking email, facebook posts, and blog posts and putting together potato salad and a crock pot of baked beans.  And I was paid for it!    How's that for a lovely day!