Tuesday, August 27, 2013


You may have noticed ( all 5 of you who follow my blog.) that there were no posts for a little more than three weeks –  That’s because we have been on vacation and then school started.  And my luck is that I drew the assignment for Early Morning Seminary again so my nights have been short.  Anyways, I’m not complaining, just explaining.

Let me tell you a little about our trip to the Bahamas.  I won’t give a lot of detail because I can’t remember (no alcohol induced memory lapses like we saw on the ship, just old age) but I will refer you to my daughter’s blog where she has some great stuff.  Here and here.

The boat was big (though by some standards this was a little cruise), the plane ride was long and tiresome, and the activities were stupendous.
Missy and Elie wiped out
That pretty much encapsulates the whole trip but I want to highlight a few things that I especially enjoyed. 

1.   The shark dive was awesome.  For a video presentation, please see Joel’s posting on YouTube (Bahamas SharkDive).  Never in my life did I expect to be in the same water with ruthless, dangerous, sharp-toothed, living sharks.  What a story I have for my great-grandchildren and others.  Woohoo, thank you my little wifey!!!!

And that's not all of them!!!
2.  Cruise food is pretty good – not quite five-star but way better than any other buffet food I have eaten.  I am still suffering the after-effects but hopefully I will drop the extra soon.   (BTW, did you know they have an ice-cream machine on board most ships and you can get a cone whenever you want?  I do AND I did ----- quite often – thus the extra poundage)

3.  Para sailing is pretty fun but not nearly as “tummy-tickling” as I thought it would be.  I would do it again but when compared to our dive………well, no contest.

Look out, here come the Whitmer's
4.  Despite what some in my family may think, I really, really, really, loved being with all the kids and grandkids.  These are the times that we will look back on in eternity as those wondrous experiences of mortality.  And I have my amazing, beautiful, patient and forgiving wife to blame for every memory we created.  Sadly, if it were up to me we would probably all go to Taco Bell and have some food and then go home. 

5.  I was very touched by the reception we received as we visited the LDS ward in Ft. Lauderdale.  They are used to “cruisers” but that doesn't mean they have to reach out and welcome us so warmly.  We really felt like we were part of the ward and had no reservations in participating.  They were such pleasant people. 

All dressed for Sunday
That’s it for my synopsis.  As I said, check out Missy’s blog for more details.  Maybe I will add more later but for now that’s enough.

That's our fabulous Teresa and some guy she tolerates.
Families are what it is all about.  This is why we are here on earth and what God wants us to perfect.  And without concerned, generous grandma’s, most of the good wouldn't happen.  Thanks sweetheart.

Monday, August 5, 2013


In Doctrine and Covenants section 25 there is a revelation given to Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  It was in direct response to questions she had about her role in the events of the Restoration and became a hallmark for who she would become in her life as the companion of a prophet.
Emma crossing the river with children

One of the statements made by the Lord to Emma was as follows:

“…thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.” (D&C 25:3)

With all the drudgery and challenges she had to endure during her time with Joseph, I wonder if she didn't hearken back to these words of comfort from time to time. 

This was a woman who never really had her own home until just before she lost her beloved spouse.  She was a mother, but many of her children passed away early from persecution and common ills of the day.  There was sorrow in her relationships with her parents who abandoned her when she married Joseph.  And the trials she endured seem almost unbearable to a mortal like me.  Life was hard and her rewards, to many of us, appear to be paltry compared to the challenges.

She's funny
And then I consider my own sweetheart and the difficulties she has endured in our many years together. 

She's beautiful
We have not moved excessively and we have all our children with us but she has had me as a husband and that has to be difficult.  Yet, she is faithful, true and kind in everything she does. Our home is a refuge from the world and her constant care is the hallmark of her own character. 

She's just plain wonderful
My children and I are blessed for having this sweet sister as our Mother and Wife.

I suspect that if Heavenly Father was to offer her a revelation He might include words similar to what He offered to Emma –

“…thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.”

Happy Birthday (late though it may be) from the one mortal who loves you most.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


This week has been a hard one for me.  I don’t feel well and I've been a little depressed about how life is going.  Seems like I can’t get a handle on being productive and useful in society.  I suppose you could say I have been a little blue.

This morning, as I was getting ready to go to work, Paula came by to get some stuff from Teresa.  With her were her two youngest, Katie and Christopher (Becca has school already).  Immediately upon seeing me, Katie rushed across the front yard and gave my leg a great big hug.  It was just what I needed!!!

Love that smile

I’m not from a hugging family – my dad cringes whenever I give him one (but I do it anyway, just to torment him).  And I was probably not the best at showing affection while my kids were young (though we were not afraid of each other).  But I have tried to encourage an atmosphere where hugging and actions of endearment are normal with our grandkids and the spouses of our children.  Mostly it works and especially with the little ones.  I appreciate the tenderness and love these actions show to those we care for most and wish it had been more a part of my own young life.

Anyway, Katie made my day (as have all the other grandkids at different times) and I wanted her to know.  I hope my family will always try to show their affection (like Matt, Hayden, and Logan do) when they are together. 

Hugs, hugs, hugs!!!  (Just don’t think about TV Guardian as you read this last part. ;-).