Monday, December 31, 2012


The “Fiscal Cliff” is approaching (just hours from now) and still there is no agreement between our “leaders” (not sure how much they lead and how much they just enjoy the benefits of their positions).

It is a very hard thing to run a country with 300+ million people --  So many diverging ideas on how things should work and what should be done.

For example, consider these questions:

Is government welfare assistance a blessing to the needy or are we just promulgating bad habits?

Why do a select few have an excessive amount of wealth while others are suffering the ravages of poverty?

Can an individual or family maintain a sense of community without offering some of their abundance to those who struggle with life?

How can individuals make a difference in the way things are done in each of these situations?

I have my own feelings about the state of our Union and I sense that things are spiraling to something we don’t really want to have.  When nearly half our country receives some form of government assistance, I believe we have created an environment that will eventually destroy all the good this country was made to provide. 

But I also believe that there are people who truly need assistance in order to survive.  Their lives are difficult and require our help.  I’m POSITIVE that government is not the place to put the burden of the needy – government programs are too inefficient and lose track of individuality in the process.  And when assistance becomes impersonal, it also becomes a right and not just a blessing.

There are lots of questions running through my head right now and I guess I will have to ponder and consider what I’m going to do.  What suggestions might you offer?

BTW, Happy New Year – 2013 is upon us.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


The world is struggling with what is right and what is convenient.  Sometimes people remember!!!  Here is a blog that reminds us of what is truly essential if we are to get out of this world with a shred of goodness left in us.  Hope you enjoy.




Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today is my favorite daughter’s birthday.  She is ……… well, I’ll let her tell you the number – just know it is one less than how long Teresa and I have been married.

Beautiful and sweet in a serious sort of way.

Oftentimes she can be a really serious and well-grounded person.  She needs that with the pack of hooligans she must serve in her calling as mother and wife (yes, I include Josh as one of the hooligans).  It is also nice that she can be counted on for doing the right thing, even if it is inconvenient.

But at other times she is not-so-much a serious person.  Like when she is with those same hooligans in the car, going somewhere.  We love that part of her too.

What normally we see from Melissa.
Happy Birthday to my sweet little baby that has grown up to become a wonderful daughter and even better friend.  Thanks for coming to our home to play and making the ride so much more interesting and pleasant.  You are such a vital part of our whole family package – your brothers will testify that this is true.  WE LOVE MELISSA!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Kevin and Jenny have purchased a new (to them) home and are so excited for the chance to get out of our little apartment.  It’s a nice house and has lots of room for the whole family but they want to add a couple of things.

For the past few days we have been working on their basement, making a bedroom, bath and some other places.  It has been fun………. Well sort of!!  All those years of experience working on our own home have come in handy. 

The little boys (Hayden and Tanner) are so thrilled to have their own rooms and lots of places to play.  Tanner just runs from room to room, checking things out and playing with the new stuff.  And Jenny is practically glowing for all the changes that she anticipates.  Such a wonderful time – finding yourself in a new home of your own.

Congratulations to our marvelous children for finally making the shift from apartment to house.  We are so proud of them and all they have accomplished.


Monday, December 17, 2012


Yesterday being the Sabbath, my sweetheart and I arrived at our ward building a few minutes early and sat in our designated pew (OK, we don’t do that in our ward but people know where we are supposed to sit and they don’t violate our space J).  Glancing around, I noticed that one of our High Councilmen was sitting on the stand.  I queried Teresa thusly:

     ME: Is this High Council Sunday?
     HER: It looks like it.
ME: Would you mind checking the program and seeing who is the companion speaker.
HER: Why, it appears your name is listed in the program today.
ME: (Panic on my face) I’ll be back!!!

I quickly rushed to the foyer and began preparing a message for our meeting.  Fortunately there was some divine help sprinkled my way and several things fell into place so I could get a talk ready.

Teresa told me I did alright but it was a very embarrassing experience (first time ever forgetting an assignment to talk).  I did confess my failings to the congregation and they were kind in their comments after the meeting but I think my efforts were mediocre at best.  Thank heavens (literally) for the tender mercies offered by the Lord in our most inadequate moments.  Hope I never need that kind of help again.

Friday, December 14, 2012

JOKE -- Not Politics

A friend sent this to me and I thought it lively enough to share with all of you.  Hope it tickles your fancy.

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation. "He's a funeral director," she answered. "Interesting," the newsman thought...

He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, and a preacher when in her 60's, and now - in her 80's - a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Teresa and I made it back safely from Polly’s funeral.  There were so many people there and such a good feeling of love from everyone.  All Polly’s siblings were there except Rex (wife had surgery) so we had a good visit together.

Our trip was uneventful but we did find that our van gets better mileage than we thought.  Good to be home and good to know the truths of the gospel so we don’t worry too much about our family.

Thank God for the Savior and His Atonement.  What peace He brings.

‘til next time.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I am the eldest of 10 children.  One brother passed away two days after birth and the rest of us have lived in relatively good health for the past 35+ years.  Today marks the passing of the first of our remaining siblings – the youngest of us all – Claire Pauline Whitmer.

Taken at our Parent's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Polly is on the back row, left end, right behind Mike.

Few details have come this far north but it appears she had a heart attack and did not recover.  She is survived by her beloved husband Chris and her four children.  It seems wrong for someone as alive and excited about life as Polly was to suddenly be gone from our presence.  I know that is how life is ….. but I don’t have to like it.

Polly was born just a month before I came home from my mission so I wasn't around much during her growing up years.  When she graduated from High School she came to live one summer in our home while she earned some money for school.  She and Chris also lived in Utah for a time shortly after they were married.  My recollections of her will always be of a happy, vivacious and very energetic young woman with a heart big enough for all her kids and anyone else’s who would let her love them.  She definitely will be missed.

We Love you Polly and pray that you will have things ready for us when we get there.
Your big brother -- -Mike