• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, October 26, 2012


Happy Birthday!!
And it's a 'crown' birthday too.
Thanks for expanding my horizons.
I did not know about this concept.

Enjoy - wish we could be there!
One of us could wear black and the other one white - lol!

Black and white,
dark and light,
love and spite,
day and night,
wrong and right ...

I just couldn't resist.
I just do that sometimes - let rhymes or ideas run.

Consider the contrasts of opposites.
Isn't it nice we get to pick the nice part of combinations?

We hope you have a wonderful day full of light and love.
So glad you are a part of our family.
Please kiss the kiddos and Ben for us.
Love to you all and again -

Happy Birthday. Love Papa and Mom Ames

Thursday, October 25, 2012



You are at such a fun age.
You are not a child and are almost a man.
You can do anything.
Your choices are just beginning.

We think of you often.
And we pray for your happiness -
and the happiness of all your family too.

I was so pleased to get to see you this summer, and I hope you know our door is always open. We love you  very much and miss seeing you all the time and knowing you better. Here's hoping your day is truly wonderful like you are.
Love and Happy Birthday Papa and Grandma Ames

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"I am a child of God, ..."


We all are his children.
He loves each of us uniquely and individually.

If I can think about and pray for each of my children every day surely an omniscient being thinks about and cares deeply about each of his children and watches over them. I often feel his love and blessings in my days. I try to watch every day for the simple things that show he cares.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12: 6-7

Sometimes I am a sparrow in the dark, sometimes in the light ...

God is thinking of you today.

Have you thought about him?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I believe I can ...

I CAN do things I want to do.

I want to be more healthy.
I want to weigh less!

Since January 2010 I have lost approximately 1/8 pound per week - not much and not fast BUT 1/8 x 101 weeks = about 13 pounds and I weigh about 15 pounds less than I did then.  A few couple of bonus pounds seem to have slipped away with those other 13.

I am pleased.

My mother has always been heavy. So were her sisters, her mother and both of her grandmothers. I have always been careful to eat decently and have never craved sweets but I have not always been careful about the quantity I ate. A few years ago she had some serious health problems that required others to physically care for her. When she came home from the hospital she began to lose weight. I asked how she was doing that, if she had a diet or medication change. She claimed she did not. I asked if she thought her health problems contributed to changed hormones or other factors of that kind. She said no.

A year later mom weighed a lot less and I worried she could actually lose too much weight too fast. I spoke to her and dad and some siblings about it and they went to the doctor. Everything was fine and it was not health problems or meds that were the cause of the weight loss. I personally think she just made up her mind to never again be subject to the indignities lifting a fat person inflicts. I asked her what she thought contributed to her weight loss -
"how did you do this, mom?"

She told me I was not going to like her answer.
I kept bugging her.

She told me she eats less food!

I saw a television program once about some obese people that had stomach surgery to lose weight. They were asked to reduce their body weight a specific percent (about 10 - 20 perhaps) by doing a liquid diet for 6 weeks. After their surgery they could not eat more than about 1/2 cup of food. They ate more often but only a small amount at a time. Perhaps that is good for some people. I don't like surgeons. I don't like hospitals. I don't even like needles. And I despise liquid diets. I don't want to do that to my body either!

I thought quite a bit about that and for a year or so I paid attention to how much I ate. I was somewhat surprised. Go ahead - try it. I invite you to conduct the same experiment. For a week measure every thing you eat and write the quantities down. Yes - every single thing. While you are at it measure out 1/2 cup or 4 ounces. And if you want to know, measure 1 cup quantities also. I did. I just wanted to be able to visualize 1/2 or 1 cup of salad, or spaghetti or whatever we were having. No I do not have a scale. Yes I did squish and pack the salad; then I dumped it out and 'fluffed' it up again - I wanted to know. You will get a good idea of how much 1/2 cup looks like. Now pay attention to how often you eat how much. For a month or two measure out the portions every time you eat something you haven't measured before.

I do not need a surgeon to mutilate my body to force me to eat less. I can make a choice to do that just because I want to. My usual portions were much more than 1/2 cup. They were often more than 1 cup. I often ate more than 1 cup of several things at every meal!

I decided if my aging mother can do it I can too.

I began to eat less.
One less scoop of mashed potatoes.
One less dollop of salad dressing.
A thinner skin of butter on the bread.
A smaller chunk of cheese.
One spoon full less of what ever I was dishing up.

I allowed myself unlimited plain green vegetables. I love vegetables both cooked and raw. If I felt hungry I ate lettuce, spinach, green beans, broccoli, peas in the pods, cabbage, cauliflower or celery. I have reward systems in place too. I 'treat' myself when I stick to my plan and if I don't - oh well - I can always start again, right?

I ate 'less' for about a year.
I did not really lose any weight.
I did not gain any either.
Surprisingly friends asked several times if I had.
My clothes seemed not quite so tight.
My stomach felt not so bloated.

I decided to get serious.
I grilled my mom again.
There was no magic solution.
She insisted that she merely ate less food.
How much less?
About 1 cup total per meal - 3 meals a day!
Sometimes 1 1/2 cups with vegetables.
And about 1/2 cup per serving per snack - 3 times a day.
I visited for a couple of weeks.
I watched.
Very little meat, some cereals, lots of veggies, some fruit.
And she mostly drank water.
She had one glass of milk with some meals.

What do you want?
Do you want more or less?
Can you make small choices to achieve it?

Can you save a few dollars at a time?
Can you eat less?
Can you exercise more?
I am working on that one now.

I believe.
I believe I can.
I can choose.

Friday, October 12, 2012


If I walk across your flower bed and do not crush any flowers you may notice a foot print but not be too concerned. If I make a habit of it, sooner or later I will cause some damage. Soon your flowers will fail to grow as a path forms.

If I walk across your lawn you will never know, unless you see me. If I do it every day soon you WILL notice because a compacted area of shorter grass begins to show a path. If all my friends also cut through your yard the path will become a trail. Everyone going by will assume it is OK to use that trail and drive their carts and buggies along it and ride their bikes and skateboards on it.

Soon your yard is a rutted muddy mess strewn with the debris that is discarded by passersby. Even if you pick up the debris every day sooner or later bits of food, partially empty drink containers, and other undesirable things attract animals. They will defecate and urinate and mark their territory on every bit of landscape you have. This attracts more animals and I don't think the scent is ever fully eradicated ever again. Now your yard will be a neighborhood pet toilet and dumping ground.

If you put up fences trespassers will break and bend them so they can continue to travel as usual. If you post signs, report the trespassers and call animal control you will become a target for threats, vandalism, theft, and graffiti: random paints and permanent markers are not easily removed or disguised. Trespassers will knock on you windows and house in the night and throw eggs at it. You will get some of those things even if you don't make any waves, just because of the sheer number of random individuals using the path that you so kindly provide.

Good luck changing any of those problems. You can buy pet repellents  You pay for a higher stronger fence. You can till and toil but it will be a constant losing and costly battle. Maybe you will have to move. That will cost you a lot of money and inconvenience too. And where will you move to? Is there somewhere civil where rude and selfish, self centered people and their pets are banned?

Wait ... I am not talking about your yard after all.
I am talking about mine.
That is where the path is.
That is where the debris is.
It is the neighborhood pet toilet.
It is me that wants to move!

Not really. I like my little house.
I like my location.
Maybe I need a dog.

Maybe I need a big dog.
A GIANT scary protective dog.
If I have to clean up it might as well be of my own choice.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Meg,
Happy Birthday to you ....
And many more ...

From the time you were a baby we all had hopes and dreams ...

Now you have your own - AND are living them.
We are so proud of you.
Keep planning and dreaming.

And KEEP 'the face'!

Hope your day is as amazing as you are.
Love Papa and Grandma

Monday, October 8, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving Canada.
I love Thanksgiving being in October.

A suggestion I read one year asked readers to list 100 things they are grateful for. That seemed like a long list to me, until I read further. It broke the list down into groups of 10.

10 living people I am grateful for.
10 dead people I am grateful for.
10 foods I am grateful for.
10 inventions I am grateful for.
10 animals I am grateful for.
10 plants I am grateful for.
10 places I am grateful for.
10 activities I am grateful for.
10 events I am grateful for.
10 ideas I am grateful for.

Hmmm I can do that and not even be started yet!

What about birds, insects, scriptures, body parts, opportunities, household items, temperatures,books, hymns, art, words, fruits, vegetables, meats, - well - you get the idea ... I can make an endless specific list.

Can I make a list of 1000 blessings?
Count them off one by one x1x1 by one?
This might be fun!

And this is just getting started!

Living or Dead people: 
Heavenly Father and mother, Jesus Christ, ancestors - and that alone numbers in the thousands that we know the names for, Dad, Mom, Wallace and  Kit, Papa, Jason and Ginger,
Tad and Kurri, Marty and Kimber, Ryan and Nena, Benjamin and Casey, Clarence,
Babies, Erin, Raanin, Avalin, Calvin, Campbell, Cody, Benson, Meg, Joseph, Jaegar, Jaidon, Quinton, Winslow, Zaymes, Mikkel, Beckham, Hendrix, Cynthia, Damian, Rex and Bet, Gene and Deb, Randy and Kathy, Tim and Karyn, Shane and Sharon, Rick and Necia, Scott and Teri, Becky and Kevin, Bonnie and Darcy, Wilfred and Charlotte, DD and Clayton, Wally and Jill, Richard and Cindy, (and my dozens and dozens of  nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, with all your spouses and more dozens of children), angels, prophets - and that includes all ancient and modern prophets (a long list), Maurice and Necia Bennett, friends,  doctors,  Bishops, Stake Presidents, Regional Representatives, Auxilary leaders,visiting teachers, home teachers, famous inventors and peacemakers, good presidents and kings, founding fathers of America, soldiers that fight for life and liberty, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Bill Peet,

Foods: olive oil, honey, jam, eggs, Cheese Whiz and raspberry jam, pepper sandwiches, macaroni and tomatoes, fried potatoes (and therefore lard!) with ketchup, salt, sugar, pancakes, cackle berries, moo juice,   fresh bread, chokecherry jelly,  baked beans in the can, porridge, casseroles, porridge, crusty white bread, muffins, baking powder biscuits, tacos, pizza, spaghetti,
Meats: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, goose, venison, baloney, jerky, sausage, bacon, ham, steak, roasts, prairie chicken; hamburgers, hot dogs, Li'l Smokies,
dairy products: butter, milk, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, Gouda, Baby Bell, German Butter cheese, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella  feta cheese, blue cheese, ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream, sour cream, buttermilk,
Fruits: apples, rhubarb, mandarins  strawberries, blueberries, service berries, peaches, apricots, pears, oranges, plums, mangos, kiwi fruit, black berries, grapes, raisins, cranberries,
Vegetables:  beans - in the garden, peas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, squash - yes all of them but especially zucchini and butternut, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, beets, swiss chard, corn, peppers,
Condiments: mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise  soy sauce  horseradish, salsa, sweet pickles, dill pickles, relish, BBQ sauce, ranch salad dressing, olives, syrup,
Desserts: cake- with or without icing, cookies, donuts, brownies, pie, tarts, tapioca, rice pudding, bread pudding, custard, lemon bars,
Treats: marshmallows, Roger's Golden Syrup, Revels, JuJubes, Orange bars, fudgesicles, fudge, Macintosh toffee, stretch candy, pretzels, taco chips, salt and vinegar chips,
Drinks: Orange Crush, lemonade, grape pop, homemade root beer, orange juice, Canada Dry, clear pop, white grape juice, cranberry cocktail, chocolate milk, eggnog,
Fish: trout, salmon, whitefish, tuna, crab, shrimp, lobster, pike,
Grains: wheat, corn, rice, legumes, millet, quinoa, oats, barely, popcorn, rye,
Seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sprouts,
Nuts: pecans, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia, hazel nuts, peanuts,

Things: grace, water, shelter, rocks, hills, plains, dirt, sand, stars, sun and sky, northern lights, moon, mountains, midnight, Winter, Spring  Summer, Autumn, years, time, gold, silver, copper, prophecy, wings, stillness, sleep, gifts, praise, peace, news, thread, fabric, languages, seasons, day, night, dark, light, snow, rain, mist, cloud, dirt, land, a '54 Chevy or the 'purple people eater' truck - that used to be blue, tents and tarps, water balloons, schools and buses, pencils, books,  pictures,  pebbles, jam cans, fences,

Inventions: telephone, cameras, zippers, elastic,  pop top cans, bottles, plastic, computers and printers, electricity,  medicines, antibiotics, lasers, scissors,

Modes of transportation: bicycles, scooters, airplanes, automobiles, wagons, handcarts, buggies, quads, motorbikes, ambulance, helicopters,
Activities: skiing, knitting, sewing, crafts, embroidery, handwork, carving,

Plants:  trees- and how many varieties is that? peonies, grass, lilies, roses, bleeding heartshollyhocks,  buffalo beans, phlox, clematis, sweet peas, canterbury bells, lupines, columbines, sweet williams, foxglove, snapdragons, marigolds, 

Animals:  Brownie, Beethoven, Shep, Chic, Sox, Gravy, sheep,cattle, pigs, lambs, horses, dogs, cats, beavers, elephants, lions, rabbits, goats,

Birds: chickens, turkeys, ducks, sparrows, geese, swans, herons, Jenny Wren, robins, owls, hawks, meadowlarks, orioles, budgies,

Insects: ants because they make peonies bloom, crickets chirping, glow-bugs, praying mantis,

Creatures: dinosaurs, salamanders, frogs,

Places: World, heaven, Kimball, Ross Lake, Rothe's, HorseShoe Bend, St. Mary's, Waterton,  Creston, Westcastle,  Orion, Mt.View, Cardston, temple, chapels, Milky Way, Cassiopeia, Ursula Major and Minor, fields, rivers, streams, Israel, Bethlehem, nations - go ahead and list them ... how many are you grateful for?,  North, South, East, West, 2nd hand stores, shopping malls, hardware stores, libraries, universities,

Events: birth, death, life, weddings, potluck parties, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, April Fool's Day, garage sales,

Activities: hiking, fishing, gardening, weeding - it makes me keep active, western movies, softball, soccer, walking, biking, sleeping, movies, kissing,

Ideas: freedom, forgiveness, hope, wisdom, mercy, kindness, stories, charity,

Opportunities: education, careers, worship, reading, travel,

Body parts:heart, voice, face, eyes, ears, knees, elbows, wrists, heart, legs, ankles, liver, teeth, eyebrows, fingers, toes, shoulders, lungs, arms, hands, muscles, nerves, lymphatics, kidneys, eyelashes,

Abilities: sight, hear, speak, feel, walk, run, jump, dance, roll, bend, flex, twist, duck, hop, cycle, taste,

Instruments: pianos, organs, harps, violas, tambourines, drums, bells, flutes, guitars, oboes, clarinets, castanets  xylophone, reeds, violins, cellos, trombones, trumpets

Music: choirs, concerts, symphonies,

Songs: Hallelujah Chorus, hymns - that's about 341 just in the LDS hymn book, children's songs - well over 300 in the Children's song book, Humpbacked Mule, How Would You Like To Swing On A Star?, Sowin' Love, Hey Good Lookin', see Standing Still Dancing above for more ...

Poetry: Paradise Lost, Abou Ben Adam, Father William, Jonathan Bing, Twas the Night Before Christmans

Household Items: windows, doors, bed, blankets, quilts, sheets, pillows, floors, carpets, shingles, paint, vents, washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, stove, pots and pans, plates, bowls, cups, spoons, forks, knifes, mugs, spatulas, salt and pepper shakers, glasses, pitchers, crockpots, cutting boards, bleach, soap, paper towels, towels, facecloths, tea towels, hot mitts, frying pans, muffin tins, pie pans, eggbeaters, graters, vacuums, tables and chairs, calendars, sofas, bleach, Tide,

Vitamins and Minerals: calcium, zinc, phosphorous, oxygen, carbon dioxide, cinders, coal, magnesium,

Clothes: pants, coats, dresses, t-shirts, blouses, dresses, shoes, runners, sandals, flipflops, boots, slippers, slips, underwear, lingerie, jackets, shirts, buttons, buckles, belts, ribbons, stockings

Games: Rook, Rummicub,  piƱatas, Bocce, hide and seek, pente, tag, ante-I-over, fox and geese, Go Fish, Old Maid, Mancala, 

Tools: hammers,saws, screw drivers, nails, salt blocks, post holes, wire-cutters, pliers, planes, sanders, routers, wrenches, shovels, hoes, rakes, guns, screws, scissors, nail clippers, trowels,


Monday, October 1, 2012


Happy 13th!!

We hope you have a great day!
I think you will because you are that kind of guy.
A person of 'good cheer'.
Your father was always like that when he was your age.
He was a boy of good cheer and humour.

 When I was your age, I used to dread choosing teams for games. I was one of the slowest, smallest, and clumsiest of kids. You can guess how soon I got picked - usually near the last.

I loved to play games though. I had fun, no matter which team I was on, whether we won or lost, as long as I got a fair chance to play. I couldn't hit the ball out of the park. I never knew where the puck was or what a 'down' meant and why would I try to stop you from getting the ball through the hoop if you could?

Such things didn't worry me too much.
It was more important to just have fun.
I wanted everybody to have fun together.

I had lots of brothers and sisters to play Checkers, Fish, Monopoly, Old Maids, Sorry, or Crazy 8's with. We loved to play Button Button, Slambangs, Ante-I-Over, hide and seek, all kinds of tag and other games.

You are blessed with many brothers.
And you have a cheerful mom and dad.
I hope you can always have fun together.
I hope you are good friends.
Family makes the best birthdays ...

And other days too!
Love Grandma and Papa