Wednesday, November 2, 2011

jack: sometimes he bites back

Nelson brought home a special "friend" from school:

Monday, October 31, 2011

it's amazing i'm still alive

Here is a list (in no particular order) of foods I have been told I must not even put in my mouth, because they are bad for me and will kill me.  Surprisingly enough, I'm still here...

red meat
orange juice
apple juice
canola oil
soy foods
table salt
corn syrup
grilled foods
theater popcorn
Mexican food
Chinese food
white rice
white flour
hot dogs
lunch meats
tap water
bottled water
chewing gum

(Good grief!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

why, yes...

I DO drive an old car...  :-D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

what does it mean to be a "Christian"?

Listening to the recent debate about whether Mormons are Christians, and listening to people talking past each other about this topic, has led me to some serious consideration.  Exactly what do people mean when they talk about someone or some church being "Christian"?  I think there are three definitions, and commentators are confusing the three.  Hence, we insult each other or can't understand where the other guy is coming from.  Here are the three definitions I have identified:

1)  "Christian" means kind, charitable, decent.  We say things like, "That was a Christian thing for him to do."  If this is the meaning we attach to the word, then people being told they are not Christian is a slap in the face.  It means they are unkind, uncharitable, indecent.  When applied to "Mormons," this is patently false, since they, both institutionally and individually are known for kind, charitable, and decent activities.  Of course, not all Mormons fit this description.  But then, neither do all Baptists, Lutherans, Mennonites, etc.

2) "Christian" means considering oneself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  This is outside any denominational categories.  I would consider any follower of Buddha to be Buddhist, regardless of the specific brand of Buddhism he practices.  Some people consider themselves followers of Jesus Christ but belong no church at all.  Since members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed Mormons) consider themselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ, since they consider that He is the head of their church, since they "talk of Christ, ... rejoice in Christ, ... preach of Christ, ... prophesy of Christ" [2 Nephi 25:26, Book of Mormon], they consider themselves to be Christians.  To tell them they are not makes no sense in this definition.

3)  "Christian" means those churches which have broken off from the Catholic Church, but still accept the dogmas and the creeds which were established in the early centuries by the Catholic Church as to the nature of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, i.e. the Trinity (the Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed, etc.).  These are sometimes called "historic Christianity."   It is true that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not fit this definition of "Christianity."  However, this is like insisting that these so-called "mainstream Christian" churches have some kind of copyright or trademark on the name "Christian."  I would suggest that most people outside evangelical churches are confused when this meaning of "Christian" is used to deny others the right to call themselves "Christians."

So, are Mormons "Christians"?  I guess it depends on which definition you use.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I consider myself to be a Christian, in that I consider myself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Whether I am a Christian in the sense of definition one, I must leave to those around me and to God to judge.  If you mean definition three, I guess I am not.  But then I don't know what you call me.  Mormon is just a nickname given to those of us who accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, another testament of Jesus Christ, a companion to the Holy Bible. (We could call believers in the Bible, "Biblists."  But then I'm a Biblist, too.)

If you want to read more about what "Mormons" believe about Jesus Christ, I urge you to visit  Then you can decide for yourself if Mormons are indeed Christians.

Monday, September 19, 2011

pear pie

I found this recipe last year.  Yumm!  It's super easy and a great way to use up the pears that are ripe when you're tired of canning.

Click here to get the recipe from

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

fishin' with the Bobs

Bob and Bob recently took Nelson and David fishing.  They had a great time!  And they even caught some fish, which we will enjoy over the next few weeks.

Everyone caught lots of fish--especially Aaron!

Although sometimes he caught other stuff as well.

The thrill of victory!

That's my boy!

Thanks, Bob!

Thanks, Bob!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

josh groban concert!

OK, so Josh Groban is about my favorite singing artist. *sigh*  Our dear friend, Angie, treated Nelson and me to his Portland concert this August.  Here's our crew, pre-concert:

We had pretty good seats, about half-way back:

What made it really neat, was that to our left, about 20 feet, was a secondary small stage, with a piano and a couple of chairs.  That's where he came to do his opening number!  We could have hit him with a paper airplane (which we didn't try).

What a great time we had!  Thanks, again, Angie!

alsea falls

Alsea Falls is one of our favorite places.  So recently we took off as a whole family, plus two of David's friends.  It was a lovely day, and we enjoyed the break from our regular routine.  There wasn't as much water as last year, but everyone still seemed to have fun.

Getting ready to stick toes in.

slip-slidin' away

The Three Musketeers.

Monday, August 29, 2011

my star scout

On the 20th, David earned the rank of Star Scout.  We're quite proud.

There was a moment of humor:

"...and David has earned his Fingerpainting merit badge..." (Note the raised eyebrow.)

"Er... FingerPRINTING merit badge."
I have two guys in the "Eagles Nest," and someday hope to have three.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

mount st. helens

Since I moved to Oregon, I've always wanted to visit Mount St. Helen's and last week we finally went.  It takes about four hours to get there, but is well worth the drive.  So awesome, in the real sense of that word.

We saw some wildlife...
Inchworm enhance...

The closer we got, the more impressive the mountain became.

The view from the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center.

Getting closer.

From the look-out at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, about 5 miles away.
You really need to click on this to get a feel for the great sweep of land.

On the way home, we stopped to visit Bigfoot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

learning to dance

At the lovely wedding reception we attended the other night, David got dancing lessons from his sweet friend, Katie:

Then more lessons from his sister, Heather:

They grow up so fast!

is this a big weed...

or what?

I suggested that we cut it up for firewood...

(Hmm, maybe we've let the yard get just a tad out of hand...)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shoshone Falls

A beautiful place I'd never been was Shoshone Falls, near Twin Falls, Idaho.  Notice the double rainbow:

Here's an old photo of how the falls looked when they were first discovered, in the 1800s:

 Our Happy Crew


On our way home from Aberdeen, we stopped in Twin Falls at the bridge over the Snake River.  As luck would have it, while we were there, two men came to jump off the bridge:

The river is really beautiful, and the view is spectacular:

Nelson, Aaron, Heather, and David were brave enough to walk out on the bridge:

(See those itty-bitty people?  That's them.)

David and Heather met I. B. Perrine, the main founder of Twin Falls.

Here's our happy crew:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Nat!

While in Idaho, getting Aaron from school and visiting with my Dad, we went to Indian Springs, which we used to call "The Nat."  It looks just like it used to when I was a kid!  Great fun.  Don't you love the multi-colored doors on the changing rooms?

It was a great day for swimming.

Even my Dad got in the pool:

There's this great barrel in the middle that you can go over:


 What a great time we had!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

hope is for us

The other day I was thinking about that great trilogy of Faith, Hope, and Charity. And while they are very intertwined, so that you can't really have any of these qualities without having the others, it occurred to me that they are each focused on someone different. 

Faith is for God:  Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the first principle of the Gospel. Faith in our Heavenly Father.  "Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart..."

Charity is for our fellowman:  Charity for our family, our friends, our neighbors.  "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

But what about Hope?  Then it came to me:  Hope is for us.  Because of Christ, I can hope for my heart's righteous desires.  I can hope for good things now and in the future.  "[Have] a perfect brightness of hope."

Somehow, that makes me smile. 

Hope is for us. 

flowering almond, symbol of hope

Thursday, June 9, 2011

it's official--he DOES have a brain!

David participated in some psychology tests at the U of O, one of which included having an MRI of his brain.  Cool, huh?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

heart attack!

For Family Home Evening, Nelson, David, and I "heart attacked" Heather's and Aaron's doors.

I LOVE my kids!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

the hope of spring

our Asian pear in bloom

dancing daffodils in the back yard

Friday, April 1, 2011

oh, no!

So, Heather comes home from school this afternoon, all upset because she was in a little accident.  She said she was at a red light, thought it turned green, started to turn left, and got hit on the driver's side.  Everyone was OK, but the other car's front looked pretty smooshed.  She gave them her information and got theirs.  I just knew it!  These car things come in threes and I've been waiting for another mishap.  It's going to be just like a few years ago when we had the pickup and the Plymouth and I was on the phone to the insurance company every other week.  So, she takes me out to the car to see the damage.  Here's a link to the damage pictures.
  She got a good spanking afterward.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


So, we went bowling for some "wholesome recreational activity."

As you can see by the scores (and Heather's face) we're not quite ready for the leagues. 
I think we'll stick to Wii bowling for the time being. We are much better at that.  :-)