Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WFMW - Summer Movie Promotions

One thing that worked for us in years past (and, who knows, maybe this year as well), is to take advantage of the summer promotion at the movie theater. Admittedly, we didn't learn about this until our kids were mostly grown, but even Michelle and I enjoyed getting out of the house and seeing a movie together. It's just not something we ever did on a regular basis, so it was a nice treat. She also took children she was babysitting one summer. If you go expecting to be over-run with little kids and summer camp groups, it's more enjoyable!

Paragon Theaters is located in the Wellington Green Mall.

Regal Theaters is in Royal Palm Beach on S.R. 7.

I noticed a great tip from one mother who is trying to save money. Buy one large tub of popcorn (she said they often come with free refills) to share as a family. Portioning the popcorn into brown paper lunch sacks once you're seated prevents spills from happening by passing the bucket down the row. It also prevents one person from hogging the treat!

To see if this promotion is available near you, check this site. Unfortunately, they're not doing it in Utah.

Regal Royal Park Stadium 16

3702 W. Newberry Road Gainesville, FL 
Starts Tue. Jun 6 (so same schedule as above)

Regal Stadium 22 @ Austell

2480 East-West Connector Road Austell, GA 
Starts Tue. Jun 6 (so same schedule as above)

Regal Oaks Stadium 24

180 Mill Road Oaks, PA 
Starts Tue. Jun 27 and goes through Aug 23

In addition, many cities offer free outdoor movies on a regular basis. I know ours does. Just do a Google search. For example, here's a listing of free summer movies near Philadelphia this summer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend - 2017

Unlike last year - which finally has its own blog post - we didn't do any hiking on Memorial Day this year. However, we still had a nice weekend. It was more reminiscent of Memorial Day Weekend 2014 with church assignments and home improvement projects. Might as well add the link to 2012 which had all three activities, and more!

Anyway, the weekend started with a trip to the temple on Friday night.

After the routine walk around the neighborhood Saturday morning, with its typical pattern of doing the 3 mile inner loop together followed by Wayne doing the 5 mile outer loop on his own, we helped load a trailer and clean an apartment for some friends, and then went shopping for cabinet handles. We didn't find exactly what we wanted in the local stores, but were able to narrow down what we liked, and then later that day we ordered them online. Yeah for the internet! The "chores" at home - really "hobbies" - kept us busy the rest of the day. Can you figure out what the next home improvement project is?

Water Chestnut Meatballs
Sunday was a normal day with church meetings and family phone calls. We actually were able to talk with both sets of parents and all of our children. That happens regularly, but not every week. We also had the "I want to marry your daughter" phone call from Michelle's boyfriend, which was definitely a new experience. Even though we've already had five weddings, we're learning that the whole process really is different for a daughter!

At the request of our stake president to celebrate Memorial Day by honoring our ancestors, Monday morning we were back at the temple. It was a beautiful idea and we enjoyed running into a lot of friends who were there as well.

After returning home we were able to repeat our neighborhood walk (note that it's more enjoyable in the morning), make progress on the closet renovation and barbecue hamburgers in the backyard. It was a pleasant day, and while not quite as exciting as Michelle's, that's okay. We hope each of you has great memories of your own Memorial Day activities.

And that reminds us of another eventful Memorial Day weekend, with another hike and a wedding ring story. On any future Memorial Day hikes, please remember to check your pockets for holes!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jonathan Dickinson State Park - May Visit

Time for another hike! Last year I dropped Wayne off to do the orange "Ocean to Lake" hiking trail in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. That made it easy to know where to drop him off this time for the pink "Ocean to Lake" multi-use trail.

While he enjoyed his 15 mile hike, I drove to the picnic area and enjoyed waiting for him. It was the perfect time to read a book that had been on my list to read.

But before reading, I made my usual walk down to the river, and noticed something new - a mini bat house! Maybe some day we'll be there in the evening to see the bats leave.

I also noticed a couple of other new things, although these have probably been there for a while. First was a plaque commemorating the Battle of the Loxahatchee River during the Seminole Indian War. The second was the ampitheater for the campground. Finding that brought back fond memories of our summer vacation camping trips to the national parks. It's been a while since we've been able to do that, and we miss it.

We both enjoyed another beautiful day in Florida!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WFMW - Summer Plans

Although we're empty-nesters now, it's obvious from social media that we're at the end of another school year. (I guess I didn't need social media to tell me that since I taught my last seminary lesson a week ago.) Anyway, it's time to share some of the things that worked for us when we did have kids at home, and did have to deal with the possibility of a constant refrain of "I'm bored!" I also noticed that some of the links I referenced in previous posts no longer exist, so it's time to find some new ones. The summers where we did some pre-planning are the summers that I remember most fondly, and I just realized that even though the kids are grown, if I want pleasant memories of the summer of 2017, I still need to plan ahead and set some goals. Preparation is a key to success!

So, first, here are some posts from years past:

Summer Hours of Worth

Summer Bucket List

Reading Lists

Basically, the idea is to make some sort of list of things you want to accomplish. That's the hard part! Once you have a list, you just go to work checking things off. You can be productive and have some fun as well. And if you're a bit creative about how you present the list to your kids, it helps make the likelihood of finishing greater. Even better, let them help you create the list. I've also learned that having a single focus for each day of the week helps with deciding which activity to do on which day.

Activities written on dots on the door.

Time to work on my list now. Over the next few weeks, I'll share some of the activities we've done in the past, and I look forward to seeing what you choose to do! Enjoy your Summer Hours of Wonder!

Finally, if you're looking for ideas on what to add to your lists, Pinterest is a great resource. Here's my board for kid-friendly activities. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Scott's Place

Last week was a beautiful day to visit Scott's Place, a playground in our city designed to be fully accessible for all children, and built in memory of Scott, a young boy who died at the age of six. Actually, that's kind of a sad thought, but it's nice to live in a community that wants to look for the positive. And it's a beautiful park, complete with a couple of horses in honor of our town's origins.

I liked the addition of the little "reading corner" something I don't recall ever seeing in a park before.

There were a couple of picnic tables within the playground fence, but they were geared for children, so we ate our lunch between the playground and the ampitheater, and just enjoyed the beautiful South Florida day - sunny with a gentle breeze. 

We look forward to returning again some day with grandchildren ready to climb and explore!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WFMW - Book Recommendations

We have one son working on a master's degree who was given a list of books to read that he has found quite interesting. (He was only required to read a few, but is making his way through all 20 or so, and this is a self-profressed "non-reader"!) I, on the other hand, have always been a reader; I appreciate recommendations on new books to try, and I'm also intrigued as to what my children find interesting. I don't necessarily like buying books, so I'm also grateful for libraries!

He mentioned that the author of Grit said successful people create habits and learn that some decisions only need to be made once. I'm interested in reading this book, because that principle is true. It was taught by Spencer W. Kimball and made a great impact on me as a teenager.

Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You only need to decide some things once!

Book recommendations work for me! What are some of your favorite books?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Birthday to Weston!

We're celebrating a birthday in our family today! And not just one, but two!! Since for the rest of your life you get to share a birthday with your brand new nephew, I thought you might enjoy some pictures of when YOU were the baby nephew.
Aunt Louise lived nearby, so she got to spend a lot of time with baby Weston.
Aunt Holly didn't live nearby, but we still managed to have lots of fun with her. She visited when you were very little, then we visited her and went to therapy where she was excited to teach you some cool tricks. A year later she helped you in the Duck, Duck, Goose game at the Martin Family Reunion.
Aunt Julie also had to travel to visit you, but she did so for your blessing day. (Great-grandpa WOW was there as well.)

Yes, you do have some uncles (and some more aunts as well)! Uncle Scott was in town for Auntie's funeral just before you turned two; David was the baby then.
It may take a while, but I'm sure Big Baby Boy is looking forward to his first picture with Uncle Weston!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Once Again

I have a bit of unscheduled time this afternoon and thought I'd be proactive and prepare a post for Mother's Day. I can't think of anything new or profound, but thought it would be helpful to gather some previous posts into one place. After all, since they've been written we've added a couple of daughter-in-laws and made new friends. I hope they'll be beneficial to you. I am so grateful for my mother, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a mother. I'm also thankful for all the mothers I know that try so hard to do their best. Sometimes I think we're too hard on ourselves and on each other. That's not right. Let's remember that each one of us has a story (see this post I read this morning). I know I'm just trying to do my best, and I am confident that all the mothers I know are doing the same. Let's cheer each other on! Motherhood is hard, no matter the age of your children, and yet it is definitely rewarding.
My mother with her three children in 1966.

First is the collection of links from five years ago which includes a favorite Elder Holland talk.

Let's add a more current talk on motherhood from Elder Holland - "Behold Thy Mother"

Next is a poem my mother wrote when expecting me - A Mother's Day Poem.

Lessons I've Learned from being a mother. It's a few years old, but I think I'd create the same list today.
My beautiful mother a few years ago!
More Talks on Motherhood, once again Elder Holland's talk is there, but also one I re-read this week, Sister Beck's "Mothers Who Know."

Adding some talks that were quoted from in sacrament meeting today: "The Eternal Blessings of Marriage" (Elder Scott) and "Daughters of God" (Elder Ballard).

Here's a link to last year's post with pictures of my mom. And here's the link to this year's post, which is really a record of the past few years.

Mom and Dad with their youngest daughter last fall. That's 50 years after the first picture!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Remembering Past Years - Mother's Day

It looks like I'm a few years behind in recording our Mother's Day celebrations! Oops, but isn't it great that pictures can help us remember? 

Once again Wayne was in charge of the gift from the ward, and once again he enlisted help from the young men to fill the boxes with candy. It really does go quickly, although I still have fond memories of the time I did it with two of my good friends who volunteered to help.
My children give such thoughtful gifts. Along with the little plaque were messages stating why our home felt like paradise to them, so touching. And even though they were scattered around the globe, thanks to modern technology we still got to visit with each other.
Our visiting included our very last missionary phone call, all the way from Angola!

And the daughter at home took over kitchen duties (with help from her dad). Thanks, Michelle!


This year Wayne enlisted the help of the Primary girls to decorate the boxes before having the young men fill them. That idea was quite a hit. And our wonderful children had another brilliant gift idea.


For Mother's Day last year, we had a surprise visit from Jeff and Alicia. It was a total surprise to me, and a bit disconcerting when they just walked into the house during our Friday night movie! They had arranged everything with Wayne, so he wasn't surprised, and we had a great weekend together, which included an airboat tour in the Everglades, lunch at the Green Market diner in Palm Beach, helping someone move, and chores around the house before relaxing with the latest James Bond movie.
This year's flowers included beautiful red roses that lasted a week and a gorgeous paper flower that is still adorning the bookshelf. I love that flowers help me remember the love my family has for me, and for each other.


This year I'm not expecting any surprise visits. (I guess they wouldn't be a surprise if I was expecting them!) Jeff and Alicia get to celebrate their very first Mother's Day as parents, and they definitely should do that at their own home. Grandchild #11 is due on Sunday so I doubt the next closest family will be traveling; maybe he'll make an appearance on Mother's Day! Even if it's just the two of us at home, I know I'll have a wonderful day. And I also know that it will include a couple pieces of chocolate, because once again the Primary girls and Young Men decorated and filled little white boxes!

I hope all of you enjoy a beautiful Mother's Day this weekend!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Works for Me Wednesday

When I was planning ahead for this series, I forgot that it takes time to recover from a vacation, so there wasn't anything posted last week. There almost wasn't today, either, but I remembered a little trick I figured out a while ago, and just used again this afternoon. Maybe it will help some of you.

I have family members that like to sprinkle lemon juice on broccoli and other things at the dinner table. I don't like the ugly green lemon juice container on the table. For years I recycled an empty soy sauce bottle, but the red lid just rubbed me the wrong way. I finally discovered a little decanter that works perfectly.

However, when it's emptied and time to refill it, the dishwasher doesn't get all of the lemon pulp off. The last time this happened the idea to use rice popped into my brain, so I tried it and it works. A bottle brush would probably do the job as well, but that would entail a trip to the store. It's nice to be able to avoid that.
If you look closely, you'll see the film on the bottle in the upper left corner. I put a tablespoon of rice in the bottle, filled it half-way with water, plugged the hole and shook it for a couple of minutes. Then I drained out the rice and water and it was sparkly clean again, ready to be refilled.

So, little tricks work for me. I hope this one works for you if you ever need it!