Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Easter Thought...

Dear Family and Friends,

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter tomorrow.  I have reviewed some of my very favorite Easter messages and decided this one felt just perfect this year.  We so love and appreciate Elder Holland.  His discipleship and faith along with his spirituality and eloquence are unsurpassed.   May each of your hearts be touched for the good as you listen to this short message about the Savior.

With love,

Jim & Bonnie

Friday, March 29, 2013

Roasted Vegetables~So Yummy

Along with our entree for our family dinner on Easter we are serving some roasted vegetables. I got this recipe from my friend, Barb, she is my cooking guru! This is like the best new thing I have cooked in a long, long time. We tried it out the other night to make sure our oven was cooking hot enough, to see if the seasoning was right and to taste it. Jim went into his moaning mode which is usually only reserved for his favorite Holy Schmidt (there is a story) soup!

First I peeled all these little pearl onions.

I thought they looked so pretty in the bowl with
the sun streaming into the kitchen onto them

These are the veggies on the jelly roll pan
 prior to roasting~
I will spread them out a little more on Easter.

Next I added all the other things into a bag and put some olive oil in to coat them. The other things were, fingerling potatoes, carrots, garlic cloves, hazelnuts, sage, fresh rosemary, sea salt and cracked pepper. After they were coated I spread them out on a jelly roll pan. I had preheated the over to 450 degrees, popped them in the oven and walked away for 20-25 minutes. They were absolutely delicious! The timing was great and the seasoning so perfect. I am not one to spare on the spices. The only thing I will alter in the future is that I won't add in the hazelnuts until about ten minutes into the process. They were a little too dark for our liking.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Beginnings~Easter~Spring~Change


Don't you just love new beginnings?  I do.  Today I am thinking about our son, he is 38 today!  Chris is and has always been such a joy to us.  I woke up just remembering how fun it was to be his mom when he was growing up and how sweet he always has been and how loving.  We miss him.  We always miss him and so dislike having him be so far away but I don't begrudge him for a second for the wonderful new beginning he had nearly 15 years ago when he married and started his own sweet little family.  Now his kids are growing up wildly fast.  Life is fascinating from a grandparent's point of view.  Time is elusive and precious and I am grateful for each new day.  I am thankful that I wake up most mornings with anticipation for what is new and different and exciting.  I am grateful for Chris' new year ahead and the promising year it will be.

Who could ask for anything more?

I am grateful for that feeling of hope and essentially a new birth we experience each day when we open our eyes and for that feeling that the future is full of hope, no matter what the current challenges may be.  I attribute that to my deep faith in the Savior of the world, something I think of all the time.  Because of Him and all He sacrificed, everything is made new and possible and joyous.  Because of Him we can be a family forever.  We can live eternally with joy and peace and happiness.


But that gift is ours right now, today, next week too.  It brings such contentment and security in this life and the next.  I am grateful this good news found its way to us and we have embraced it.  Everything around us testifies of its truthfulness.

Oakland Temple Grounds

Spring, wow!  It is so gorgeous out these days.  The flowers just take my breath away.  Check out these photos on this page.  I took them just yesterday as we walked into work.  What a gift from our Creator!  Easter will be here in just a few days.  And I am thankful.

The Empty Tomb~The Ultimate Blessing
More on this later in the week!

We are so thrilled that some of our family will be with us this year for the celebration.  We will welcome, Jen, Lowell and their girls this coming good Friday.  Having our grand girls with us will be a lot of fun.  And all the cultural things will be more exciting.  This furry little bunny will bring some pleasure to them and that makes us happy too.

I have pinned and collected lots of cool photos celebrating all aspects of this celebration and you can find them here.  Remember each photo is a link if you are looking for some cool recipes to brighten your Easter.

And now I need to get my little (?)  cottontail busy and get some groceries, and some other important things accomplished as I step away from this computer!  Yep, every once in awhile it just has to happen that way.  So Happy New Beginnings, Spring and above all...Happy Easter.  May you find great comfort and joy and happiness in its message and the peace of knowing who it is all about and what it does for each of us as individuals and families.

  And Happy Birthday to the best son in our world.  
 Love to you, Christopher Andrew, on your special day!

And love to each of you stopping by, 
Bonnie and Jim

Monday, March 25, 2013

It Is The Stories That Bind Us

Carol's Corner~Guest Blogger.  Carol Holladay

 For Carol for being such a wonderful friend!

"It’s all about sharing family stories that not only enrich our genealogy, but strengthen families. In Dick Eastman’s Genealogy letter, dated March 19, 2013, Dick shares a compelling article from the New York Times writer, Bruce Feiler who makes the point “the single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.”

Bruce went on to tell about a time when his extended family had gotten together, things got tense, words were spoken and as he says “Ka-boom!...then everyone fled to separate corners.” That night he lay awake wondering “what is the secret sauce that holds a family together? What are the ingredients that make some families effective, resilient, happy?”

Bruce went on to share that in the mid- 1990’s Marshall Duke, a “colorful psychologist” began to explore myth and ritual in American families.” There was a lot of research into the dissipation of the family and what families could do to counteract those forces.

Marshall Duke and his wife, Sara Fivush, also a psychologist working with children with learning disabilities noticed something about her students. “The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges.” What did Duke and Fivush do? They developed 20 questions called “do you know?”

Questions like: “Do you know the story of your birth? Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your Mom and Dad went to high school? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family?” These questions were asked of four dozen families, their conclusion. “The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully their believed their families functioned.” This “Do You Know? Scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.” As they said, “We were blown away.” How could something as simple as the sharing of family stories and family information make the difference?

Two months later September 11, 2001 occurred; just like the rest of us Dr Duke and Dr Fivush were horrified! What an opportunity to again study these same four dozen families and measure the effects of September 11th. Dr Duke said, “Once again, the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.” The question posed, “Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?” According to Dr Duke, “The answer has to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family.”    “The children with the most confidence have what they call a strong “intergenerational self.” “They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.”

I share only a portion of the Eastman Letter, but bottom- line; “If you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.

What a great article to have read before listening to this week’s, Roots Tech Conference! In his key-note address, Dennis Brimhall, CEO of Family Search said; “What we really want is to turn hearts to our ancestors. Technology plus stories equals family history for everyone!”

The question Dennis posed is “Will our great-grandchildren look back at us in the same way that we look back at our great-grandparents? What will our great-grandchildren wish we had done?” They will wish we had recorded the richness, the fabric of our lives. They’ll want much more than names, dates, and places.”

Bon here:   I just love this article.  I believe these words to be true.  We all need to know that the universe does not just revolve around us.  We are all a part of a marvelous and wonderful work.  The Lord has created families for the benefit of all.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Mom, You've Been Under The Radar Lately!"

For Max

I got this text message from Jennifer this week.  I guess I really have been under the radar this week.  To say the week has been busy and intense would be an understatement.

Some friends of ours lost their baby grandson a week ago this past Friday.  The baby had some congenital  problems that were known before his birth.  After the birth many more were discovered.  His tiny little 4 pound body just could not sustain life here on earth.  Wednesday night they had a visitation at the mortuary and hundreds came to share their love and support for them.  Their children, the parents of the baby, live in our ward.  They have two precious little girls and are the sweetest, most faithful people you'd ever want to meet and love.  Our hearts go out to all of them in a constant stream of love and compassion.  We find joy in knowing they will be with their tiny boy again one day and their faith with get them through this. Yesterday we worked on a dinner we are taking in to them today.

 This whole thing has been on our minds since before Christmas when we first learned of the diagnosed issues.  It was so reminiscent of how it was for us with Hazel.  Our friendship with his grandparents deepened considerably as we shared some things with them about grandparenting and supporting their kids.  We love these friends so much and pray for them daily. 

Moving on from here.....


Last Sunday I gave my Family History and Genealogy PowerPoint presentation to the Cambodians church members that live in the Oakland area.  That took weeks of preparation and researching their history and was a very rewarding experience.  They are a beautiful and humble people and were so eager to learn how they might preserve the memories of their ancestors and immediate family members that died at the ruthless hands of the Khmer Rough.  Some of them that escaped Cambodia were there and still working through the tragic loss of their relatives including husbands and fathers.  Jim came with me and my good friend, Carol, did too.  That meant a lot to have them both there with me.  I just love this work I am doing now and find great value and satisfaction in it.

Google Images


Monday I got caught up a little and prepared a lesson on searching Immigration Records and Ships Manifests for work on Tuesday.  I also did some research on my own family and discovered an amazing possibility that I might be a descendant of the Mayflower passenger, and signer of the Mayflower Compact, Stephen Hopkins.  A real, honest to goodness Pilgrim! 

By Wednesday night I had confirmed it.  I am indeed his descendant!  He is my 11th great-grandfather born in 1581-82 in England.  I was crossed-eyed and exhausted but what a discovery.  The fun part is seeing how many others have descended from him that we all know like Sir Issac Newton, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jane Austin, Agatha Christie, John Steinbeck.  I love that so many of them are writers.  The more important part is that I know the genealogy is correct as hundreds of professional researchers have blazed the trail, as admittance to the Mayflower Society is based on proven genealogy.  Now I am not sure that I will ever join the Mayflower Society but my real prize is knowing my family heritage and being able to pass that along to our children and grandchildren.

Thursday we took a break and went to San Francisco with our sweet young friends, Margo and Tim, to go to the De Young Museum for a special floral event.  That is going to get its own post soon.   

The floral designers did arrangements
 that complimented the art work and they were
Spectacular and Beautiful!

Friday I worked on recording all my new genealogical information and verifying it all again. I also watched the live streaming of the Rootstech  Conference 2013 for a good part of Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday morning.  It was phenomenal!  You can catch some reruns here.

And last but not least, 
I worked a little on our trip back east.
  First stop...Charleston, South Carolina!


Well those were the big rocks in my jar and then fill that in with a lot of sand...the little things that keep one busy.  And that is all of why you haven't seen me on here for a week.  I truly have been under the radar.  It has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  But I have to apologize to Jen.  She and her family are coming for Easter and at this point I am so not ready!  So that is next on my agenda.  Well, after Church and a meeting here this afternoon and dropping off the dinner to our sweet friends.

 I hope that you are all doing well and having a great time with all of your fun activities as well.  I'll be back soon with the details on that art show soon.  Five stars for the San Fransisco Fine Arts Museums.  We plan to be lifetime members!  It is the best value around these parts!  Enjoy your week before Easter preparations, both spiritual and temporal.

Love to all,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lessons From California Poppies

When I was a little girl my father taught me a very valuable lesson.  Once in a while he would have lots of trimmings from our yard that needed to be disposed of and could not be taken by the garbage truck.  He would gather branches and twigs and his three children and off we would go to the dump.

Where I grew up, in Sacramento, California the dump was near the railroad tracks.  My little brothers and I loved to go play near the tracks with my father watching us.  In the spring we would see the beautiful orange poppies all around it.  I loved them and of course wanted to pick some.  My father explained that the poppy was our state flower and that they grow wild all around our state.  He then told us that it was against the law to pick them.  He explained that if every person in California picked just one they would all be gone.

I wanted to pick one so badly but I never did.  My Dad helped me to learn that even when we don't understand a rule or law we need to obey.  He helped me to learn that sometime what I want is not for the good of others.  He helped me to see that laws are to protect the common good and that I needed to be community minded.

Whenever I see the California poppies in bloom each spring, I am thankful for these lessons  and so happy to see they still grow everywhere in our beautiful state.  I must admit I still always want to pick one but I have never done so.  My father taught me the importance of obedience in this simple way and I have never forgotten it.  I am grateful for a father that knew what was best and told me to do it.

Because of him I will never pick a  California Poppy...not even one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

For The Quote Lovers Among Us!


 Well, it has been several days since we have gotten together.  Sorry, I have been really working hard on my family history presentation and just about ten minute ago finished my Power Point for some beautiful Cambodians I will be speaking with on Sunday.

The refugees from Cambodia have a history, the likes of which we can only pray we never experience.  The Khmer Rouge devastated their country from 1970 to 1975 killing over 2 million innocent people in the process.  Most of them that escaped are getting quite elderly now and I am trying to help them preserve their history for future generations.  If they do, it will engender in their posterity the deepest respect and and a quiet reverence for their ancestors.  Their journey in this life has been remarkable.  I have nothing but love and respect for all them.  They have been through so much and survived and now they thrive to inspire us all.
  So today instead of staying at the computer any longer I just want to share some quotes I have pinned on Pinterest that I think are fun and thought-provoking and true.  I had never sat down and read the whole board until last night and it was fun to do.  I hope you will enjoy the quotes as well.  This board is called
 Life's Little Surprises

I'd LOVE to hear what you think of the board.  And maybe I'll even interest some of you in connecting with Pinterest and collecting some of your favorite things.  I love Pinterest.  It is a wonderful place to relax and be uplifted by inspiring and beautiful thoughts, places, people and things.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

These Are A Couple Of My Favorite Things

 Laura and Jennifer

Being their Mom and spending time with these two beautiful women is probably definitely the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.  Honestly, how is it that moms and daughters can have so much fun together?  We laughed ourselves silly and enjoyed every minute of our time together.  We have to find a way to make this an annual event.  No husband or kids ( God love 'em) just us.  We talked non-stop, enjoyed nature, photography, movies, restaurants, and shopping until we were dropping.  It was a completely a.m.a.z.i.n.g time.

We were able to set all of our worries and pressures aside, no big responsibilities to weigh us down and no things we HAD to do.  We all love the lives we lead but what a luxury to have this time to just be.  Who wouldn't love that?  "Not me," said no woman ever!

The thing I loved most I think was just being able to talk without interruptions.  You remember...form a thought, ponder it, share it and wait for a response.  A lengthy conversation...No phones, no doorbells, no diapers needing changing, no laundry that couldn't wait, no carpooling, no lessons, no scouts, no schedules to keep, no body wanting anything.  It was just so unique, so revitalizing.  This is the first time we have ever done this.  It won't be the last.  My apologies to family and friends that wanted to see the girls.  I am sorry to have been so possessive of our time together.  We agreed to it from the beginning.  We didn't even answer our phones or email and I didn't go to work.  Actually also missed church too as Laura had a bad headache that first Sunday and the next Sunday we were at the airport picking up Grampa.  That was kind of weird, we rarely ever miss a Sunday.

Laura was here for 2 weeks and Jen was able to come for five days.We were so sad when Jen had to go back.  We promised not to have any fun after she left but the car just veered off the freeway and into Lafayette on our way home from the airport.  Whoops!

Here are some of our adventures at Orchard Nursery and The Lazy K Gift Shop captured on the camera.


This is the front door of the Lazy K. 
 Pretty, vibrant and inviting!
Lafayette, CA
Nothing but eye candy from beginning to end.

We have been searching for a chandelier for our dining room 
since Christmas.  They have some beautiful ones.

Is this not the sweetest pillow?
Makes you want another baby!
I bought it for our nephew and his 
wife who are expecting their first.
(a Girl!)

The Coleus Plants were vibrant and prolific!
We love visiting beautiful nurseries.  

They have the most fun signs for the garden. 
 I just loved this one.
 Somehow Laura got back there before she left
 and got me this one. 
 I love how they have made it look vintage with paint. 
I found it in the guest bedroom with 
a sweet note after she left.

All their plants at Orchard are so very
 healthy and well-groomed. 
 Just lovely and such a lift in winter!

This was so gorgeous in 3D

We love window shopping on the inside!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~March 6, 2013

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Outside my window...It is 5:45 PM and I am having a somewhat frustrating day so decided to just stop working and do my Daybook in hopes of a recovery and being somewhat productive!  The weather is gloomy although it was quite lovely earlier this afternoon.  We had a lot of rain and wind overnight, calm and drippy this morning, clearing and then another round of fast moving clouds.  Having checked our phones several times today..the weatherman is just as confused as the sky.  Rain/no rain appearing every few hours for the next few days.  It is no big deal except that we are trying to plan a day trip this week and wished for sun. 

Also Jim is working on his workshop area so needs no mud is if possible.  Not possible...he is out there with Dave anyway.  He just walked by and said I am to add that "I saw two sexy guys working out in the back!"

 From my office window there is a beautiful white blossoming tree and I am hoping whatever weather is ahead will leave the blossoms on the branches.  They are so lovely and I'd love some great light so I can take some pictures before they blow away.  But the truth is we don't always get what we want and the trick is to roll with it.  So doing my best!  :-)

I am thankful for...God, life, family, friends, happiness, pulling together to face the struggles and a peaceful home.

From the learning room...we need to give up on the idea of the perfect everything.  No such animal available.  So we work and we strive and hope and we praise God and we take things one day at a time.  If we are moving forward we are successful.  We are OK, our lives are sufficient and we are more blessed that the billions that have lived and died upon this earth with very little in the way of luxury, comfort, an abundance, or anything that resembled leisure.  Progress, not perfection is the attainable goal.  Perfection, as we think of it in this life, never was.  The funny thing is God knows this, He made us.  It is us who struggle with it like the little child that wants to do it all..."by myself." 

Our journey in the right direction is what is important to our Father, as it well should be for us.  He wants just for us to be faithful and progressing with clean hearts and hands and a desire to do His will as we rely on Him.

I am reading...When Broken Glass Floats still and all kinds of things to prepare for my Family History and Genealogy classes.  Both are enlightening and When Broken Glass Floats...very sad.  All about one girl's journey through her childhood horrors, perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 70s.  Believe me, none of us have any complaint at all by comparison.

From the kitchen...I spent the better part of Monday getting things ready for the next 10 days or so.  So all is good in the kitchen and pantry.  Now I don't have to worry about it or think about it.  I like doing that.  Having to say, "What shall I cook today?" is not my idea of fun.  I have been preparing a lot of veggies, etc. for the frig and putting them right in plain sight and that has been good.  Nothing like that goes in the dead vegetable bins anymore.  Saving money and calories.

I am missing...people that are no longer around.  That kind of missing just never seems to go away.  I'd sure like to sit down and chat with my mom now and again, or ask my Dad his opinion on things.  Hmm....Later.  And missing sweet friends so far away, and always family.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...when we make mistakes and do things we sometimes regret, I think the Lord forgives us at the first moment of repentance for that sin, but the healing of His Atonement for the natural consequences of our mistakes takes much, much longer.  I suspect half of that time is working on forgiving ourselves.  His continual and unconditional love for us is always there.  But in our mortal state it needs to be re-realized by us during that period where we are still suffering and feeling unworthy of His grace.

I am hearing...Jim talking on the phone in his office and other than that just the quiet of the night right now.  I am reminded of how much I might like to turn on some music.  I think I will listen to Il Postino's soundtrack.  One of my most favorite movies about two unlikely friends that touches my heart in very special ways and the music is very soothing.

One of my guilty pleasures...Ahhh, Movies.  I do so love being swept away by the stories of other places and times and people.  It reminds me of a quote that says a person that doesn't read only has one life.  But a person who does has many.  I think the same thing can be said of movies and plays and concerts and the like.  They are so broadening.

Pet Peeves...Trip planning.  There are just too many choices for everything like car rentals, flights, destinations, hotels, etc.  You feel like you are a bonafide travel agent when you get done.  That has never been one of my aspirations.  It reminds me of going to Walmart to buy diapers.  Have you done that?  Holy Cow they have an entire long wall, stacked to the ceiling with choices in size, brand, colors, duckies or no duckies, boy versions,  girl versions, pull-ups, night diapers, you name it they have it in all varieties.  It is absurd, confusing and too much for someone past their childbearing years to bear!

I am going...get off the computer and go watch Downton Abbey with my hubby in a few minutes.  Yay!  Always fun.  This is my third go around on season three now.  Twice with James and once with Laura.  So I pin on Pinterest part of the time on my iPad as I know the dialog by heart almost.  But I love doing it with him, so I do.  It is cute it is about half way through any of these series that he starts to get anxious about how many more episodes there are.  He hates it when they are over and we have to wait for a year to pick it up again.  He is still not over Larkrise to Candleford being canceled.  We are going to watch the Forsyte Saga after this.  Cannot wait.

I am quoting...Pinterest:

  If I could change one thing it would hackers would just be put away indefinitely.  Anyone that gets their jollies out of messing with other people's accounts and lives, etc. needs a long long time out of circulation in society.

An enjoyable movie we have watched lately...The Help.  Funny, serious  and just plain crazy racism that needs to just go away forever.  Loved the movie.

I am curious about...people...lots of people and how they think and what motivates them and makes them tick.  And most of all, why they do the things they do?  Always a mystery.

Plans for the rest of the week...Working on a PowerPoint presentation for March 17th, going to a funeral tomorrow of a young boy who died this past week.   I worked with his mom years ago and have since watched her take care of her child tirelessly for about 16 years.  She is a SAINT!  He had severe birth defects and required constant care.  He has now been released from this earth life and I want to go and support my friend and the rest of Andrew's family.  Tomorrow afternoon and evening going out with three or four friends to celebrate our friend's birthday with shopping and dinner.  Day trip with Jim on Friday including a stop at AAA to get books on the states we are visiting soon and hopefully get in some photography.  Saturday baby shower luncheon, work in Oakland for a few hours as there is a Multi-Stake Youth Conference and they have kids coming into the Family History Center that will need help, and then back home for a wedding reception and lose one hour of sleep.  Sunday trek to Oakland to hear Elder L. Tom Perry speak and then home for a cottage meeting with a new group of budding genealogists, the list goes on.  But I'll stop there for your convenience and my sanity.  One day at a time...right?

One of my favorite things...Sleep!

One thing that made me so happy this week...Nellie and Jim are grandparents for the first time to a beautiful little girl and Susie is a great Auntie!  Congrats my friends!  Love to all.  God is so good!
A photo I am sharing this week... this is such a beautiful picture that I found on Pinterest today.  It just says all things Spring and Easter and Fresh.  I find it simply stunning  And fun that they put some radishes in with the eggs and flowers. Beautiful design work.

So Gorgeous, don't you think?
God=The Master Artist!

          Until we all return...
❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Alleviating Proverty Little by Little...

Remember when Jim went with the BYU Design Team last summer to Peru?  This is what they did.  Both our son, Chris, and Jim are seen in this video.  I am so proud of them.  Here is a little peek into what they were doing.  Here is the link for those of you that follow by subscription.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Black and White and Color

And some beautiful Flowers 
for all the ones I admire and love!

Downton Abbey Phenomenon

This absolutely is a classically funny thing. I adore all the stir this show has created worldwide.  Such fun and such an emotional roller coaster.  If you are a fan you will enjoy this little song.  Just double click on the photo it is an embedded video.