Monday, October 22, 2018

October 2017 General Conference

Scenes from home while watching the October 2017 General Conference. This turned out to be the last Conference before President Monson passed away three months later. 

The silver fox speaks again 😉

Victory! The boys weren't fighting!


Note the Angel Moroni that Sam put on top of his dragon castle. How appropriate! 

On an unrelated but still home-based note, a few fall and Halloween decorations from around the house...

 The white pumpkin with gold stem and polka dots was a very well-liked new acquisition. 

October is always a good month! It's one of my favorites!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Five Things For Friday

1. It's apple-picking season. I have a bit of a "bah humbug" attitude about apple-picking. I personally don't enjoy it, and we haven't done it in years and probably won't anytime soon since the rest of my family doesn't seem to care. I think it's a nice old-fashioned thing to do, I just find it terribly inefficient. It's so much easier to let the pro's pick the best apples and pick up a bag at the grocery store. Then you don't have to deal with the weekend crowds at the orchards, walking around searching for good apples as you carry an increasingly heavy basket, wrangling your own bad apples (a.k.a. fighting kids), walking forever, waiting in a long line to get them weighed, etc. No thank you. I just got a bag of beautiful organic Gala apples at the grocery store this week. That's how I do apple picking. 👍 🍎

2. I'm on day 8 of the social media fast that President Nelson invited women to undertake in his talk at the Women's session of General Conference two weeks ago. It's going well. I don't miss it that much, although I do a little. I really only have one social media platform that I use, and that's Facebook, and that's enough for me. Since starting this fast a week ago, I've been better focused and have used my time better. And I don't know if it's coincidence but I've found myself feeling more content and peaceful. 

I've also been more selective about the shows I watch because President Nelson asked us to consider fasting from any type of media that could be wounding our spirits. I feel good about giving the ax to some shows that I know aren't worth my time because of their overall poor-quality content. I'd been feeling that way for awhile about them, but this was the kick in the pants I needed to finally cut the cord, so to speak. 

This fast has also helped me to evaluate the shows I do still watch and recognize the worldly elements of our souring culture that unfortunately find their way into most of them. It's sad how bad it's gotten. 

So anyway, I like this fast. When it ends, I plan to be more intentional than ever about how and when I use Facebook, and I'll continue to try to watch only shows that are truly worthwhile (like Poldark!). 

3. I talked to one of my good friends from Iowa on the phone this week. (Shocking, I know, because actual phone conversations with friends are a rare occurrence for me!) I miss her, and I miss it there a lot. The boys and I for some reason have felt particularly homesick for Iowa this week. Even though we all like it here, they both prefer their old schools and they miss their friends. John hates all the homework that he gets here, and Sam says his school here is more strict and not as fun. Having said that, they're both doing well in school and are making friends and are happy overall. I'm glad we live in Massachusetts, but parts of our hearts are definitely still in Iowa, and may always be.

4. Yesterday when I picked up the dry-cleaning I noticed that the nice lady who's usually working there was wearing the exact same shirt that Sam was wearing that day. It's a boys' shirt from The Children's Place that came out years ago (it's a hand-me down from John). Instinctively I almost said "Oh, my nine-year-old son is wearing that same shirt today!" but just in time I thought better of it and saved us both from potential embarrassment. The experience reminded me that there are many people out there struggling financially and in many other ways, and that I can choose to be sensitive and empathetic about it, rather than making silly comments that could inadvertently make someone feel bad. And I probably shouldn't make these assumptions about her--maybe it was a crazy morning and she just pulled on whatever was lying nearby and would work. Something tells me it's more than that, but I could be wrong. No matter what, the point is to be kind and treat others the way you'd want to be treated. It was a good reminder for me.

5. I've discovered the best laundry detergent! It's free of a lot of the chemicals that other detergents have, and it smells soooo good. It's Seventh Generation's lavender laundry detergent. I've been using their Free & Clear detergent for a couple years, and they recently came out with this lavender one (from naturally derived ingredients) so I gave it a try, and it's amazing! It makes the laundry room smell like lavender when I use it, and our laundry has the faint pleasant scent of lavender once it's all dry. I love it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

September 2017 Randoms and Cell Phone Pics

Pretty new notebooks

Babydoll in the morning

One of my favorite things about fall is the return of hot cocoa!

Babydoll again. He's so cute!

My horoscope. This would be a good thing to apply to social media and even (maybe especially) my blog!

Bas Bleu catalog covers that I liked

I daydream about doing this, but it never happens. 😢 I must change that!

A bed set that I saw and liked at Bed Bath & Beyond. Gold polka dots were my thing last year. They still are this year, too. They're a classic!

This power car that the boys had for years was on its last legs, so I gave it away. Thanks for all the fun you provided my boys and their friends, little car!

I ordered this online somewhere. I like it for the cold weather months.

When my mom was visiting we went to Dillard's to shop for a formal dress for a wedding she was going to be attending, and I was pleased to come across some pretty modest dresses.
This dress would be perfect if it had longer sleeves (I don't like super-short sleeves because I think they're unflattering on most people, myself included).

I liked this dress so much that I almost bought it. I kind of wish I had. I don't know where I would've worn it, but it would have been good to have in my wardrobe when the right opportunity presented itself!

I bought a wedding card for my cousin who was getting married (which was the wedding my mom was shopping for a dress for) and I thought it had great marriage advice on it. 

I love it when I find a card that's just right. Especially because I don't enjoy shopping for cards at all--there are so many choices and I find it overwhelming.

I saw this in The Wall Street Journal and found it illuminating. While not perfectly representative of me personally, this sums up rather well why I decided several years ago to become a registered Republican instead of the Independent that I'd been for years.

"Cheap sex and the decline of marriage"--exactly. The WSJ hits the nail on the head yet again.

And The WSJ gets one more gold star for having a front-page story that was written by a friend of mine from college!

Sam was learning to dive at his swim lessons last fall. After many belly-flops over the months, he finally got it last spring, and now he dives like a little champ!

A pretty fall table at the hotel where Sam's swim lessons were at. I took the boys to private lessons there for years and they're both strong swimmers now thanks to those lessons.

The view from the basement guest bedroom. I miss this view.

I saw these adorable Disney figures at the Hallmark store at the mall and wanted to get so many of them! But I suppressed the urge and took pictures instead.

I wish I'd gotten this one of Belle and the Beast.

Belle is my favorite Disney princess. I wish I'd gotten this one of her in the gown, too.

A sweet moment between Peter and John.

One of my last trips to Wilson's Apple Orchard. It was a gray, rainy, chilly day, perfect for their delicious hot apple turnovers and hot apple cider!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

From Handcarts to Model Ts

When my dad was visiting last fall he wanted to do something unique, so we went to the Johnson County Historical Museum in Coralville, Iowa, a place that I'd always meant to go to but never had. I'm so glad we went. I knew it had some good Mormon pioneer history things in it, and it didn't disappoint!

When we moved to Iowa I thought it was so neat that we were going to live in a place where the pioneers had temporarily lived as they passed through on their trek west. It really did cast a special feeling on the whole area for me, one that I'll always cherish.

A few months after we went to this museum, the boundaries changed in my stake and we were moved into a different ward and I became Debbie Hartley's visiting teacher. Her son made the handcart in the picture above.
 There's a nice little trail commemorating the area described below that's right near where our church was. How neat it was to go to church so close to where our religious ancestors (and very likely some of my actual ancestors) camped out on their faith-filled journey.

Europeans come to Iowa City...

There was also an antique car museum next door with an amazing collection of old automobiles. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it! My appreciation of old things seems to be increasing the older I get.
A Model T Ford from 1913. This car was made before the world wars even happened. I don't know why, but things like this fascinate me.
This is from 1899!

"In God we trust, you pay cash." Ha ha!

For so many reasons, history really is the best.