Monday, January 25, 2010


In my attempt to cope with allergies I have evolved into not wearing make-up or using perfume. My sinuses thank me for it, but unfortunately I’ve grown to be very dowdy in my appearance in more ways than one.

The other day I was feeling particularly well. I had a meeting to go to so when I dressed up I decided I’d put on a little make-up. I started with mascara. It had been a while since I made such an attempt on my eyes. I was surprised that I hardly had any lashes to apply mascara to. Still I did the best I could with the few lashes I had.

I then added some brownish eye shadow on my upper lid hoping to compensate for the lack of definition I achieved with my mascara. It was a new purchase and I could instantly see that it was way too light. I wondered why I had even bothered putting it on. It was the same color as my skin.

I went for my lips next with a very conservative color. It was a subdued mauve kind of shade, what my lip color should be, but has unfortunately faded with time. Last, a little blush, because in my old age I have definitely quit blushing. I added just a tiny bit of color on my cheekbones and like my lips it is where color once was.

"Good blending," I thought as wrapped it all up.  I was out the door, but I had to pick up Sam before I went to my meeting. He was at Cassie’s. I rolled up in front of the house and honked the horn. He quickly ran to the car. It was dark out with maybe a bit of moonlight filtering in through the car windows or maybe it was the street light. Whatever it was, there was very little light in the car.

Sam hopped in and looked at me. Without a wince or a flinch he quickly fastened his safety belt securely and settled into his seat. He then turned and looked at me again and said, with all candor, “So . .  what’s up with all the make-up?”

“I’m going to a meeting and I thought I’d try and look a little nicer,” was my reply.

He seemed content with my answer. He didn’t say anything more. He just turned and looked straight ahead as we drove off.

I was obviously out of character. I was hoping not to look like my usual frumpy self, but with Sam’s frank question I wondered if  I was looking like a painted woman.  I just laughed and went to my meeting.

"If you can't make it better,
you can laugh at it."

Saturday, January 23, 2010


My Janna girl is a senior.
She has important choices to make.

What will she do?
(Janna and JoJo)

Where will she go?
(Janna in Okinawa)

The list goes on.
Graduation is set for May 2010.
Whatever decisions she makes,
it will be life-changing.
It will be an adventure.

“It is our choices that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling

Youth of the noble birthright, 
here's the counsel of an apostle, Elder Boyd K. Packer.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In The Thick of Thick Things

One of my New Year resolutions was to do a good deed everyday. Before 2010 even started I was getting into gear and thinking about this goal. I had pondered the words of President Thomas S. Monson when he said:

"I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need. At baptism we covenanted to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” How many times has your heart been touched as you have witnessed the need of another? How often have you intended to be the one to help? And yet how often has day-to-day living interfered and you’ve left it for others to help, feeling that “oh, surely someone will take care of that need.”

We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things.” In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes."

My life has been very busy and I was hurrying to Costco while I had an opportunity. There were so many people at my house for the Christmas/New Year holiday. Shopping for food was a definite priority.

As I walked briskly through the parking lot heading toward the store entrance, I saw a very elderly couple. They were carefully walking toward their car that was parked in the first handicap space of the row I was hurrying down. The man, though tall and large in stature, no doubt very virile in his day, was walking with a walker. His shorter wife, obviously just as unable bodied, pushed their shopping cart, maneuvering it to the rear of their car. The trunk popped open and the thought crossed my mind, "There is someone that could use some help."

I observed the man letting go of his walker and turning to lift a rather large box from their shopping cart. I ignored my previous thought and told myself, "Surely they will be okay."

I quickly trotted passed and then abruptly stopped myself thinking, "Here I claimed I wanted to be of service to people in a greater way. I have obviously seen a need and have been prompted to help and I'm ignoring it!"

I was in disbelief at my behavior. I immediately did a 180 and quickly returned to the couple. The elderly gentleman was carefully placing the box of groceries in his trunk, but with a bit of a drop and an audible “Kerplunk!" I commented, "You know, I saw you here with your walker and thought, 'maybe you could use some help?'"

His wife smiled and he replied, "Well, I think I've got it already," as he straightened up, trying to look more sturdy than he was.

He had definitely loaded the heaviest part of his purchase, there was no doubt about it.  I quickly said, "I believe you can do this." I then grabbed some other items in their cart and then continued with my plea, "But please, let me finish loading the rest of your items."

With smiles they watched as I strategically loaded the rest of their purchase. The woman was obviously delighted with my kindness. They were both happy, pleased, and thanked me.

I smiled and nodded my acknowledgement of their gratitude, but little did they know, I was the grateful one. The Spirit was still filling me like rushing water as I turned and headed toward the store. I was so happy and pleased with my little gesture, especially because of the understanding that came; that's what Heavenly Father really wanted me to know.  It was so obvious that my doings were literally a reenactment of President Monson's words. I intended to be of service, but I was letting it go in the name of being busy with my own family responsibilities. My family is certainly important, but my helpfulness took less than a minute if thirty seconds.

How grateful I was for my "about face" recognition of it all and my quick march that brought me into participating in a service that used very little time and yet resulted in the biggest of dividends. The Spirit filled me. The Spirit taught me. How shallow I was, and yet, I got the kick start I needed to proceed into the new year of  listening to the Spirit more, of serving more, of loving more, of being in the "thick of [thick] things".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Season Wrap-Up

Snuggies for Christmas!

Family Pallbearers, La Verne Cemetery
La Verne, California

Dorothy McMullin Reynders
December 4, 2009

Sammy and other family members went on three hikes
during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

Beautiful Weather!

Billy graduated with his Masters in Education from ASU.
December 17, 2009

Billy, Baby Ryan, and Chelsea
Here for Christmas from Arizona.

Cassie and her boys moved back to Lancaster.
They're living with their Poppy Reynders.

Cassie's Baby Dexter
Home and Well

Jeremiah's Birthday Celebration
“Cheers to a new year
and another chance
for us to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey

School starts next week.  Our holiday is coming to a close.
From our family, we wish you the BEST in 2010!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Singing Missionary

Called to Serve
Janet Reynders

I'm so excited and pleased to find out today that my niece, Janet, is going on a mission.  Her mission is unique in that it will only be for approximately four months and she'll be what they call, a performing missionary.  She will be part of the entertaining productions that people see when they visit Nauvoo.  She'll be acting, singing, and dancing telling the story of the Saints that once lived there.  No doubt her testimony will shine brightly.  She'll be gone May thru August.  We'd all love to go and see her in action.  Here's hoping!

"Youth of the Church, the world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The harvest truly is great. Let there be no mistake about it; the missionary opportunity of a lifetime is yours. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be, not spectators, but participants on the stage of service to others."

President Thomas S. Monson
"That All May Hear," New Era, May 1996, 4

Friday, January 1, 2010

Two Questions Every Day

I'm into 2010, optimistic and looking ahead with new goals.  Most of my journal keeping since August 2008 has been in the form of letters - a collection of letters to my son, Tommy/Elder Blair.  I had a friend give me a compact journal recently, I'm going to use it for some daily recording.  I have two questions I want to ponder. I hope to prod my family each day with the same.  I hope I can write something daily.  I'm hoping for a great year! These questions are prompted by talks given by President Henry B. Eyring and President Thomas S. Monson.

1.   How did the hand of God touch my life today?

My dad once told me, that when I was very little and my parents would ask me not to do something, I would immediately turn to do it and say, "Here . . .  I . . . .  go!"  I guess I've grown up a bit.  Now the presiding brethren have asked me to do something.  I'm glad to say, "Here I go!"