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/

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Day and More Thankfuls

The Thanksgiving holiday is over and the kids have all gone back home.  Things are a bit quieter now, but we have some good memories and have been enjoying lots of leftovers!   We had some good times, some good food, some fun games, and some great company for our Thanksgiving Day, and we also took a few moments to share some of our "Thankfuls"  with one another.  

Everyone at the table was given the opportunity to write the things that they were grateful for on different colored leaves that DD1 had cut out for us.  We then taped the leaves to our "Thankful Tree"  that was drawn by DS1.  This idea has been around ever since our Joy School days when our kids were in pre-school, but we haven't made a Thankful Tree recently.  It was a good activity.
The weekend also included a visit with my dear Daddy and a nice drive and shopping trip with DD4 when I took her back to college, a wonderful day enjoying the wedding of a dear niece and the company of more family, the opportunity of speaking in church on Sunday, good help with Christmas lights and a new bathroom upgrades from visiting DS1 and DD3, all topped off with a fun visit with DD2, DD4, DS2, DD in law, and DGS via Google Hang-out on Sunday evening.  I am feeling very grateful. 
Here is a summary of my end of November Thankfuls as posted on my Facebook page:
Gratitude Day 23: I'm grateful for reliable transportation!   Two years ago we were limping along with a driveway full of barely functioning vehicles.   Various members of the family ended up stranded in various places at various times, and we were often calling upon friends, neighbors and family members for help with said vehicles.   We now have three good, reliable cars in the driveway and are feeling very very blessed!
Gratitude Day 24: I'm grateful for Books!  I haven't done nearly as much reading in the past year or two, but I still enjoy a good book and a warm blanket.   We've done a bit of rearranging of the bookshelves recently, and I must say they are looking pretty fine.   What have you enjoyed reading lately??   Six Science Backed Reasons to Go Read a Book Right Now
Gratitude Day 25: I'm grateful for Pie! Pumpkin, Mincemeat, Key Lime, Apple Crumb, Chocolate Chip, . . . .and any others !!  I always say I'm going to cut back on the pies every year.   Then I start making the pies (always pumpkin, of course, and this year mincemeat for DH and a lowfat key lime for me), and then each of the children asks . . . well, what about such and such?  Everyone should have their favorite pie on Thanksgiving Day, right??  Especially since I usually only bake pie three or four times during the year  (Pi Day in March, Cherry Pie in July when the cherries are ripe, and then Thanksgiving, and usually for Christmas too.)  So . . . I make a huge batch of pie crust dough and keep on baking until the dough runs out.   This year I also bought a frozen Razzleberry Pie (it was a good deal and had a free can of whipped cream thrown in), dear Mother-in-Law brought banana cream pie, and DS1's friend brought strawberry rhubarb.   Dear sister-in-law also brought yummy homemade caramels and DH had baked date nut bread, so we were surrounded by goodies this Thanksgiving Day.
Gratitude Day 26: I'm grateful to have the world's best Mother -In-Law!. She comes for dinner, brings food, helps in the kitchen, does the dishes, gives everyone wonderful loving hugs, always has a cheerful smile and positive attitude, gifted us her car when she gave up driving, and always always is looking for other ways to help us out.
I'm also grateful for all of the dedicated health care workers, policemen, and others who sacrifice holidays and family time to provide necessary care and services for us all.

Marcy Wagstaff Howes's photo.
Gratitude Day 27: I'm grateful for Google!  Many years ago when the internet was still very young, my DH posted a comment in a public chat room about what a great search engine the new and upcoming company called Google provided.   Someone from Google saw the comment and sent my DH a Google T-Shirt.  Both DH and I have proudly worn that T-shirt on many occasions.  A little over a year ago DS1 became an employee of Google on one coast, and a month ago DS2 became an employee of Google on the other coast.  Google has been good to our family.

On Friday I grabbed an old T-shirt out of our downstairs closet for DD4 to use, and guess what shirt I found?   That old beloved Google T-Shirt!   Needless to say, DD4 was given a different old T-shirt to use, and the Google T-Shirt was moved back to  a place of honor in the master bedroom closet. 
Gratitude Day 28: I'm grateful for temples and forever families.  There is nothing better than gathering together in the House of the Lord with your family to witness and/or participate in sacred Temple Ordinances that bind families together in love for the eternities. 
Gratitude Day 29: I'm grateful for a day of rest, Sacrament Meetings (even when I'm asked to speak with only two days notice), and chocolate!  (The chocolate chip pie and the fudge stripe cookie and reeces peanut butter cup pilgrim hats were both big hits at our Thanksgiving dinner.)
Gratitude Day 30: I'm grateful for Christmas lights and dear daughters who put them up and take them down! I'm grateful for Skype and Google Hangouts!

It's been a wonderful month full of blessings, and a few challenges to help us grow too.   I hope it has been a good one for all of you!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gratitude This Week

Those of you who are also my friends on Facebook  may have already seen these posts there.  Yes,  I am still grateful for my daily blessings, and am truly trying to recognize some significant blessing in my life each day.  However, this past week I have not taken the time to transfer these gratitude posts here to the blog.  So, here in one fell swoop are the remainder of my "gratefuls"  for this past week:

Gratitude Day 17:  I'm grateful for appliances large and small that help to make life easier and more enjoyable!

Gratitude Day 18:  I'm grateful for my sewing machine and for friends who encourage me to be creative and use it!

Gratitude Day 19:  I'm grateful to have fresh fruit readily available:  Apples, oranges, bananas, pineapple, melon, grapes, etc.

Gratitude Day 20:  I'm grateful for a loving, intelligent, kind, fun,  dedicated husband who shares his life and all he has with me.
Gratitude Day 21:  I'm grateful for grocers, food wholesalers, food producers, farmers and all who help to make our food procurement and preparation easier.  I'm grateful to not have to grow, hunt or gather it all on my own!

Gratitude Day 22:  I'm grateful for scriptures:  our "letters from home!"

May we all continue to find things to be grateful for!

Ponderize: November 22nd

 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands . . . Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise:  be thankful unto him, and bless his name . . . For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100:1, 4, 5

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gratitude Day 16: How Did the Garden Grow?

I'm grateful for my garden and the fresh veggies, berries and flowers it has provided us with through the years. I always miss it so much during the winter months!

So, how did my garden grow this year?   Well, as you can see from the photo above, the garden is becoming quite the hodge podge . . . tomatoes, strawberries, mint, grass and weeds all intermingling with a few other veggies that have braved the mess, and the heat of the summer.  
We always plant lots of tomatoes of course . . .  .

This is the collection of tomatoes, onions, and peppers that became this last month:
Four pints of delicious Chili Sauce.

Perhaps my best crop of sweet peppers ever . . . still most were not very large, but still a nice reward.

A few nice little cucumbers every week or two towards the end of the summer.

We had some nice little zucchini plants and some crookneck squash too.  The crookneck always seem to get tough skinned before they get very large.   Any suggestions?

And of course, we can't do without a few sunflowers . . . .

We had a few grapes this year too, but not as many as last.   I didn't get to them in time, so the birds enjoyed most of them this time. 

Our Big Max Pumpkin plant grew up into the tree this year, and then onto the fence.  In August I decided that this pumpkin needed a bit of extra support.

 Here is the smaller pumpkin where it was growing on the fence just before the October frost.

And here is the lower one sitting on it's pot, now all nice and orange.
The frosts have now come, and most of the garden is gone, except for the grass and the weeds and the berry plants.    On Saturday I finally dug the carrots, and this is what is left tonight . . . .about a third of the crop.   Not as pretty as they were on Saturday, but I forgot to snap a photo then.
So that's it for this fall.   It's been better, it's been worse, but I'm grateful.
So how did your garden grow?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gratitude Day 15: Parents

I'm grateful for my wonderful parents. I'm grateful for the beautiful Mother who gave me life, cared for me and taught me so many things, and sacrificed so much for each of her children. We love and miss her. I'm also grateful for my kind and wise Father who continues to nurture his family any way he can. I always feel uplifted after a visit with my Daddy.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Gratitude Day 14: Land of the Free

Gratitude Day 14: I am blessed to live in a country where I have never had to personally experience war, famine, or poverty. I'm grateful for the many blessings of freedom and of living in this beautiful country. May we all be able to do or share something to help others in need.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gratitude Day 12: Good friends and neighbors

I'm grateful for good friends and neighbors who watch out for one another and do what they can to make the world and our community a better place.

 I have some wonderful neighbors who have both"anonymously" and publicly mowed lawns, shoveled driveways and sidewalks, helped to remove unwanted trees, given many rides, treats and meals.   There are many in our community who spend countless hours serving in school, civic, church, and community organizations such as PTA, Scouting programs, food pantries, tutoring programs, community councils, and even city, county and state government positions.   Yes, there are some people who are often looking only for what they can get, but I believe that there are many more who are constantly looking for ways that they can serve. 

Thank You to all!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gratitude Day 11: Servicemen and Veterans

Gratitude Day 11: I'm so grateful to all who have served to protect our country and freedoms, and to the families who have sacrificed and supported them in their service.  Hug a serviceman or Veteran today.  We love you!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gratitude Day 10: Employment

Today I am most grateful for gainful employment and wonderful co-workers.   Everyone should be so blessed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gratitude Day 9: Technology

Gratitude Day 10: I'm grateful for computers, cell phones, the internet, and other modern technology that keeps me connected with family, friends, and information from all over the world.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gratitude Day 8: Children

Gratitude Day 8: I'm grateful for children, my own children, my grandson, and the many other children who have been and are now a part of my life.  The most precious and fulfilling days of my life have been they days spent caring for and teaching my own wonderful children.   I have also been blessed to spend many years as a Primary teacher in our church's children's organization, getting to know many wonderful children of friends and neighbors.  Children are and have been a big part of my life.

I'm so grateful for primary children and their sweet, strong faith.   Today our church congregation has been blessed to listen to "our"  children share what they have been learning in primary this past year.  The theme for the lessons and songs during the hour long sharing time portion of primary this past year has been "I Know My Savior Lives"    I have been blessed to teach the majority of the children who were involved  in today's program at some time in the past 6 years, as the regular teacher for all but the youngest 2 classes, and I have gotten to know most of them with opportunities to substitute teach them in their nursery classes.    These are wonderful children with strong faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.   I pray that they will continue to be strong and courageous in their testimonies throughout their lives.

Ponderize: Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Colossians 3:16,17


“We need to make more use of our hymns to put us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord, to unify us, and to help us teach and learn our doctrine. We need to make better use of our hymns in missionary teaching, in gospel classes, in quorum meetings, in home evenings, and in home teaching visits. Music is an effective way to worship our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. We should use hymns when we need spiritual strength and inspiration”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks ,:in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 13; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 12.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gratitude Day 7: Music

Gratitude Day 7: I'm grateful for music that soothes the soul.  I'm grateful for classical music radio stations, hymns, and other good music that uplifts.    Here is one such piece of music that I discovered recently. 

Have a splendid day!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gratitude Day 6

On this day when the temperatures are steadily creeping down, I'm very grateful for good sources of heat at home, work, and in the car.   Seat warmers are especially nice!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gratitude Day 5: Color

I'm grateful for color; for the interest and beauty it adds to life and the world.   We have had a very warm fall this year, and the trees and shrubs in the nearby canyons and foothills have lost their leaves without showing much color.  The past few days have been cooler in these parts and we finally had our first hard frosts of the season.   Trees are finally showing some color, and this beautiful scene has greeted me each morning this week as I enter the campus where I work. 

Have you enjoyed fall colors this year?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gratitude Day 4: Words

I'm grateful for words.   I love to read words.  I sometimes even like to write them. Words are Magic. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gratitude Day 3: The Wonderous Human Body

Gratitude Day 3: I'm grateful for the wonders of the human body; all it can do and all we can accomplish with it.   I'm grateful that I can walk and run, see and hear, think and touch, work and play, think and listen, feel pleasure and pain.  My favorite part of my college bio-chem class was learning how all of the atoms and molecules work together to support life.   It is wonderous!

 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:27

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gratitue Day 1 and Ponderize

Jesus the Christ, by Del Parson
I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Rejoice, oh my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever, yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
2 Nephi 4:30

What is "ponderize"?  The word was introduced to the vast audience of the 185th semi annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints this past Sunday afternoon.  Devin G. Durrant, the newly sustained 1st counselor in the General Sunday School presidency of the church introduced the word to us in this way:

"I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.  There are two simple steps:
First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day. Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.  Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more."

The above verse is now posted on my refrigerator and on sticky notes on both my work and my home computers where I can refer to it periodically throughout the day, no matter what my day may bring.  So are you up to the challenge?   What scripture verse will you be "ponderizing" this week?  Does it have special meaning to you?