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/

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sun

Gratitude Day 26: I'm grateful for the Sun; our source of light, heat and energy.  The days are short this time of year, I work indoors, and often the weather obscures this wonderful creation from our view.  I'm grateful that I was able to be outside and enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes today!  I'm grateful for the Sun.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Atonement of Jesus Christ

 I’m grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that I can be forgiven and change my ways.  Every day I make mistakes, some more serious than others.  I am far from perfect and without my knowledge of the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifices and love for us, I know that life and its challenges would be more than overwhelming to me.  In this post from last April's blogging from A to Z, I shared one of  my favorite Hymns of the Atonement.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I'm grateful for LDS Temples and temple blessings. I have been blessed to be able to attend the temple frequently during my life, to make sacred covenants, to be taught more about the Lord's plan for mankind and God's work and Glory.  I have been blessed to be sealed in eternal marriage to my DH and my children and my own parents and sibligns.  During last April's blogging from A to Z challenge, I shared some more thoughts on Temples on my post at  Creation and Compassion.  Yes, I'm very grateful for Temples.  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Redbox and White House Down

I'm grateful for Redbox.  Today while I was doing the shopping, DH stopped at the Redbox and rented a nice movie for us to watch on a Saturday evening.  The movie of choice was White House Down starring , , and .  To be totally honest, we don't go out to see movies very often, and I had never heard of the movie before.  I also don't particularly care for action packed thrillers or movies filled with lots of fighting and explosions, but I really enjoyed this one.  I stayed awake and alert and practically on the edge of my seat throughout.  So, if for some reason you haven't seen this one yet and are looking for a good movie to watch, try White House Down.    It's now available at Redbox.

White House Down Trailer

Friday, November 22, 2013


Cheese makes everything better.   Today I had a cheese bagel with vegetable flavored cream cheese and cheese curds as part of my dinner.  What's your favorite cheese? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Trash

Gratitude Day 21: I'm Grateful for curbside garbage and recycling pickup.  Nuff said.


My life has been blessed with chocolate.  Growing up, we didn't always have a lot of candy.  There was usually some hard candy around somewhere, and we did get chocolate at Easter, a bit at Halloween, and of course at Christmas, but even at Christmas it wasn't all just chocolate.  We would usually make some fudge to leave for Santa along with the specially frosted sugar cookies, and in return he would leave a big box of chocolates under the tree and a variety of goodies in our stockings.  My favorites were probably the hershey's miniatures. 

We grew up on a dairy farm, so we always had plenty of milk to drink, and there was usually some Hersey's chocolate or Nestle's Quick in the cupboard for the special chocolate milk treat.  I remember when I was in Kindergarten that the fad for a while was to bring a little bottle filled with chocolate milk powder to mix into the carton of milk that we received at snack time.  So I did that a time or two, but if I remember correctly, the practice was not particularly approved of by our teacher, so after a while we didn't do that any more.

We also received a monthly allowance as children to spend as we saw fit, and as we grew older we were expected to pay for most of our own expenses.  I remember sometimes walking or biking into town with siblings or cousins and buying a bag of penny candy at Hoyt's general store.  One of my favorites were Sixlets . . . chocolate filled candy balls, similar to M&M's only spherical.  Sometimes I would stop at the Hi Mountain Drug store on my way home from school and buy a full sized candy bar.   I really liked Almond Joy, and another candy bar that had toffee and nuts and chocolate, similar to heath, but I can't remember the name of it now.  After school we would come home and find a snack . . . often chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream or chocolate milk.

During my High School Years there was a vending machine with candy and other snacks available, but I don't think that I bought much candy.  I preferred to save my money for things like books and clothes and school supplies, and preferred real food for lunch.  I still came home to awesome afterschool snacks that often included chocolate.   Onetime during my teenage years my Grandpa gave me a box of chocolate covered orange sticks for my birthday.  They're still one of my favorites . . .

I don't remember a whole lot of chocolate during college.  I'm sure we had brownies and chocolate chip cookies often enough.  And there was the one part time job where they made regular donut runs to the Cougar Eat in the Wikinson Center.  But my favorite donut was an apple spice cake donut, not chocolate.

My true addiction to chocolate has come in my later years.  I've enjoyed it off and on while my children were growing, and of course for the traditional Easter, Halloween, and Christmas candies, but I think I truly became addicted to having a bit of chocolate once I started working part time.  Just a little hershey's kiss or nugget or maybe two or three, preferably dark, and with nuts as a bonus, was just what was needed to make it through the afternoon.  We have a candy tin in the office that many dear co-workers take turns stocking with various forms of candy, mostly chocolate.  My dear MIL has also helped by introducing me to such delightful brands of chocolate as Dove, Lindt, and even Godiva.  All in small doses of course.  And my DH, well, he has been a good giver of chocolate as well.  Thank you DH!

I was initially drawn to  one of my favorite bloggers by the title of her blog:  Chocolate On My Cranium.  With a name like that, the blog had to be great, right?  Well, it is.  It is often humorous, often informative, and always uplifting.  And the author, Cocoa, has chosen other chocolate product names for various members of her family as she talks about them on her blog.

So, how has chocolate blessed your life?  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


In this day and age most of us are overly blessed with the abundance of appliances to help us to safely store and prepare meals, and to clean our homes, clothing, and dishes.  Sometimes we become complacent and take our appliances for granted, not truly appreciating how valuable they are to us until they break down.  Right now (knock on wood) all of my  major appliances are in good functioning order, and I enjoy many other smaller appliances and gadgest that make my life easier.  I wrote about some of my favorites in this post awhile back.  I'm grateful for appliances!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm grateful for vegetables and for the fact that I enjoy and appreciate them so much more than I did when I was growing up.  Growing up there were very few vegetables that I would eat on a regular basis:  potatoes,  corn, green beans, green peas, lettuce, raw carrots, celery, and cucumbers, and that's pretty much about it.  I gradually learned to appreciate others like tomatoes, peppers, squash of all kinds, sweet potatoes and yams, spinach, beats, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and even eggplant and brussel sprouts.  I'm sure that there are more  that I just haven't thought of tonight, a cornucopia of goodness!  Raw, steamed, roasted, boiled, baked and even creamed . . . Let's eat our veggies!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Jergen's Lotion

 I love and appreciate a good lotion, and I'm always grateful to have access to it.  Of course we had Johnson and Johnson Baby lotion at our house when I was small, but when I was five or six years old I received a bottle of Jergen's lotion a friend who came to my birthday party.  I was thrilled by the gift!  The smell reminded me of my Grandmother, and I have loved the scent of Jergen's ever since. 

While I was growing up my Mother  always had a supply of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion on hand, and it was often used, especially by those hardworking members of the family who were out in the varied weather milking, hauling hay, and caring for the other animals on our family farm.  My dear mother also bought and gifted me with various of the wonderful smelling Avon lotion products.  I remember that I especially liked the Timeless and Sweet Honesty fragances. 
Oil of Olay Moisturizer

When I left home and went away to college, all of the students in our dorms were "gifted" nice little welcome packages with several samples of products, one of which was a small bottle of Oil of Olay moisturizer.  I loved how light it was, and have used it for years.  Several years later I was shopping in a drug store and overheard two women talking about a  small tube of St. Ive's Body lotion that was on sale.  One of them stated that she was a nurse who had to wash her hands numerous times during the day, and that this was the lotion that was used in her workplace.   I was a young mother at the time who did a lot of cleaning and diaper changing and handwashing myself.  It sounded like a good recommendation to me, so I bought some too, and have been using it ever since.  Well, ocassionally I will try to be frugal and buy another, cheaper brand, but I always go back to my St Ives.    This probably sounds more like a commercial than a gratitude blog post, but I promise that I have not been recruited or compensated in any way, shape or form for this blog post.  I truly am grateful to be blessed with wonderful products to care for my skin, and to not have to resort to dry, cracked and sore skin or to using animal fat or other such items to keep my skin happy.  I'm grateful for lotion!

St Ive's Oatmeal Shea Butter Body Lotion

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Grocery Shopping

 I'm grateful for a wonderfully patient husband who takes me shopping.  I have been without a car for several months.  It isn’t always fun, but I am becoming  accustomed to it.  I can walk to work and have several grocery and drug stores nearby, along with my favorite thrift store and a dollar store etc.  The weather has mostly been pleasant, and I don’t mind walking, but I just can’t carry everything that we need for a week in one trip.  So, even though DH truly does not like shopping, he has been kind enough to give up his time to drive me shopping every Saturday so we can stock up on the necessities for the week.  Hopefully our situation will not remain this way for too much longer, but for now, I’m very grateful for his help and sacrifice.  I’m also grateful for the wide array of food and other products that are so readily available to us in this country!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Work Place

I'm grateful for a wonderful boss and co-workers. I must again admit that working full time was not exactly what I envisioned for myself during this period of my life, but I do have a good place to work.  The surroundings are pleasant and comfortable, I enjoy the work that I do, and I particularly enjoy working with the people I deal with on a daily basis.  They are a blessing in my life and wonderful examples to me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Air Travel

I'm grateful for safe and quick air travel that brings children home to see us!  DS1 has taken some time this month to travel to Europe.  It’s something he has wanted to do for a while, and since he has just completed a rigorous program of study to complete his PhD, and has the resources to do so, he is on his way.   He flew in today to spend a few hours with us, and will fly out tomorrow to begin his adventure.  We’re proud of him, we love and appreciate him, and we’re grateful for safe and quick air travel.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Central Heating

Gratitude Day 6: I'm grateful for central heating.
When the house gets a bit too drafty I can just turn up the thermostat and stand in front of the heat vent!   I'm grateful to live in a time and place where I don't need to be chopping and hauling wood or keeping the home fires burning (literally, that is).   I love being warm and toasty when the temperatures outside are below freezing.  The summer weather is definitely over for this year, so we can look for the good things about the cold weather season!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good Citizens

Gratitude Day 5: I'm grateful for the privilege and the responsibility to vote.

Today was election day, and I voted.  It's a practice a try to follow every chance I get; every first Tuesday of November.  My dear parents have set the example and have been involved in community meetings and elections throughout their lives.  Today there was not a large ballot in our voting district, but the issues that were presented for vote were very important and widely discussed and debated in our local community.  It's been said that our local community elections are where we can make the most difference and where our vote truly counts.  Sometimes we might feel that our vote doesn't make a difference, and that is likely true in may elections, especially on the national level, but I'm grateful that I still have the opportunity to cast my vote and make my voice heard.

I'm also grateful to all of the wonderful citizens of this country who believe in freedom , including those who were born elsewhere and have come here and worked hard to help make this country a better place to live, including my wonderful dear Uncle who passed from this life earlier this afternoon.  He was from Armenia, was not a religious man, but was one of the kindest, happiest, most hardworking and generous men I have ever known.  In his retirement years he was a supporter of many causes that he believed in, trying to make this country and the world a better place for all.

We all have ancestors who have sacrificed and courageously come to this country, seeking a better life for themselves and their families.  Sometimes we forget that there are many people here in this country today who are currently courageously seeking the freedoms that citizenship in this country offers to so many.  They sacrifice, work, study, and do everything in their power to provide these blessings for themselves, their own families, and in doing so make things better for us all.

God Bless America, and her people too!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Homemade Cookes

Gratitude Day 4: I'm grateful for delicious cookies, and for daughters who volunteer to bake them!  Yesterday I had the assignment to bring a dozen cookies to a meeting.  I also wanted to attend our church choir practice and needed to make dinner for the family, so DD3 graciously volunteered to make them for me.  They were wonderful, and I am grateful!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gratitude Day 3: Hymns

I am grateful for many kinds of music.  I love to sing and I enjoy listening to uplifting music being performed, both choral and instrumental.  One of the great blessings of attending church services each week is being able to listen to, sing, and be uplifted by inspired hymns.  Here is the second verse of one that we sang this morning:

When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that deliv'rance is nigh.
We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
We've proved him in days that are past.
The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last.

--William Fowler
We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, verse 2

Feeling a little bit blue?  Then go and sing or read or listen to a Hymn!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gratitude Day 2: Photos

I'm grateful to live in an age when we have a plethora of photos that allow us to remember and re-experience the beauties of nature, and wonderful times with friends, family and loved ones.  Old photos can be easily restored and digitized and shared with many.  Thanks to all of the talented photographers in my life!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gratitude Day One: Eternal Life

Gratitude Day One: I'm grateful for the knowledge that life continues after death, and we can one day be with loved ones once again.
They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death.
 Mosiah 15:23
The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ