Thursday, July 09, 2020

Even though school is out for the summer,
we've started mom's summer school.

Lottie does 5-6 pages in her workbook and reads a chapter from her book.
Oliver is reading the journal and fascinating stories written by our
 famous amazing 3rd great (his 4th) grandfather, Daniel W. Jones. 
 Each day I'll ask him to share with me what Daniel was up to today.
Ollie will say something like "Oh today he shot himself while feeding his mule.
He's ok, but the bullet went through his butt."

And Nicholas and I are reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  
It's been fun to read along with him and discuss 
what's happening and his thoughts on the boys and their rules,
and laws, and how they pertain to life today.
It's been interesting.
The girls read and keep themselves busy all-day
 and I don't worry about them falling behind or anything.
Jane is doing FFA judging online and is busy with her church calling.
Today Claire filmed herself making cookies to share with 
the little girls she teaches in church.
And tonight, we had dinner with our missionaries on our front porch.
I love them.

Life is full and busy and sometimes boring,
but I thank God every day that we're safe, healthy, and happy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020


For my 39th birthday last month, Mr. Nielson (and the boys)
 made me the BEST birthday present a wife could ask for: a porch swing!!
Come to think of it, Mr. Nielson has made me a swing for 
almost every house we've lived in together.
I think that's pretty cute.
(Except for the Harvey Circle house in New Jersey 
because it basically was a shoebox without a porch.)
He designed The White House swing so it would be big enough
and wide enough so the two of us could nap together on it.
Then he painted it black and I bought some fun pillows to make it comfy, 
and then we realized very quickly that we definitely needed another swing 
on the other side of the porch because everyone wanted to be on it.
And I mean everyone!
So he spent another few days in his free time under 
a shade in our driveway (without a shirt!)
 making a second swing, and today
he and Oliver hung it up.

Immediately after it was up we spent the whole evening on the porch
swinging and talking, swinging and eating, swinging and watching
the cars and people go by, and tonight we ended our day 
on the swings reading our scriptures.

I've told my boys over and over again how I hope they
are watching their dad as he creates, works, and builds stuff
so they can make swings for their wives and families someday too.
This is what it's all about.

I love you Christian!
Best birthday ever!
I am so excited for Halloween, there I said it.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020


Lucy and I discovered while video chatting
on the 4th of July that Nicholas and her baby Sally have the same haircut.
Blonde and whispy with a similar look of Gene Wilder 
in the 1971 Willy Wonka movie. (Or even Charlie!)
Plus, they were both wearing pink shirts and have brown eyes.
 (Except Sally wasn't wearing any undies.  
Nicholas was. Thank heavens!).

After our accident, Nicholas went and stayed with Lucy and Andrew for 
several months while Christian and I were in comas 
with the possibility of forever if we didn't improve and live.
So Lucy has a very special place in her heart for Gigs,
I'm glad we can "share" him.


Whenever I think of Willy Wonka I think about Topher.
I don't know why-- I think because he would quote the movie a lot.
Topher is constantly in my thoughts, and I miss him.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Home Church Week 16 / Independence Day

 This was one of the most low-key 4th of Julys we've ever had.
We lounged around, ate food, watched movies, and enjoyed an 
epic, EPIC (like better than the Stadium of Fire epic)
firework show later in the evening.
On Sunday in Home Church, we discussed God's love for us
and how He shows us His love.
We asked the Nies how they know God loves them, and 
We also talked about what we would give up, abandon, or overcome
and give to God so we can change for good in our lives.
We were going to write them down and bury them outside in the yard like
but our discussion got away from us, then it started to rain.
On July 4th Eve, we celebrated outside The White House
letting off our own fireworks, sparklers, shooting torpedo lights into
the dark sky, and hanging out on the porch under the incredible full moon.

On Sunday we enjoyed our usual Sunday dinner,
 with a cherry pie for dessert.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Happy 4th of July 2020

Happy 4th of July!!
Each night after dinner this week, 
we've sat out on the porch (new porch swing!)
to run around the yard with the sparklers (and fireflies!)
to celebrate our beautiful country and the hot summer nights.
It reminds me of a favorite book I read as a child called "Summer".
The words described my life as a child and the life
my own children are enjoying:

"We like the things
that summer brings.
It brings us fireworks
late at night,
all red and yellow,
blue and white.
They go up high.
They are such fun!
Look! Look!
There goes another one.
When we go out on summer nights,
we see the fireflies with their lights.
We catch them.
They will give us light
to find our way back home at night."

"As we walk the path of spiritual liberty in these last days, 
we must understand that the faithful use of our agency 
depends upon our having religious freedom. 
We already know that Satan does not want this freedom to be ours. 
He attempted to destroy moral agency in heaven, 
and now on earth he is fiercely undermining, opposing,
 and spreading confusion about religious freedom—what it is
 and why it is essential to our spiritual life and our very salvation.
Some are offended when we bring our religion into the public square, 
yet the same people who insist that their viewpoints and actions 
be tolerated in society are often very slow to give that same tolerance 
to religious believers who also wish their viewpoints
 and actions to be tolerated.
 The general lack of respect for religious viewpoints 
is quickly devolving into social and political 
intolerance for religious people and institutions."