Sunday 22 February 2009

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers

As you can well imagine, this Sunday I am just full to the bursting with my Sunday Six Smile makers. I have had so many blessings to experience these past few weeks and so many reasons to smile, it has been hard bringing it down to six, but here I go!

Lura (Grammy's News ) makes me smile. Yes, that is a pair of ear muffs warming her nose. And not only that, they have hand warmers stuffed inside. How can that not make you smile. But it is more than that about Lura that makes me smile. She is the warmest, kindest and nicest person you could ever want to know. She's fun to be with and generous with all of herself. She epitomizes everything that an elect lady should hope to be. She is a loving and caring wife, a generous, kind and understanding mother, a fun and loving grandmother . . . not afraid or too busy to give of her time, and a most wonderful and loyal friend . . . a friend that I am proud to call my friend. We had such a wonderful time together. We laughed. We cried. We talked for hours and hours. We snored together. We froze together and we even ate bologna sandwiches together! Only the best friend ever would drive all the way from California to freeze her arse off with you in a cold place like Idaho and smile while she was doing it. Lura, she warms my heart. I love her to bits and she makes me smile in a really big way.

Dick and Lenis make me smile. They are two of the nicest friends anyone could ever want. I fell in love with them both when they were over here doing their mission. Everyone in our Ward did and it was so wonderful for me to get to spend some time with them over in the US. Their generosity and kindness in driving us up to Idaho bowled me over with gratitude. This was an extra blessing that I had not counted on. Dick never complained once. Not during the long drive. Not during the hours and hours he had to spend freezing in the cold. Not during the other hours and hours we had him traipsing around the different shops in Ketchum whilst we ladies oohed and ahhed at everything. Not many husbands would be so patient. Lenis, she was a rock to me. Steadfast and steadying, never giving up, even when I was so sad that I was not able to see my daughter at the first. She's just a wonderful lady and I love her so much! I spent my last night in America in their beautiful and cosy home, and she made her infamous German pancake for breakfast! (It was delicious.) I think they think their mission over here was a failure because they didn't get to Baptise anyone while they were here, but I am here to tell them it was not a failure in the least. Their many kindnesses to members and non-members alike will never be forgotten. The sweet and gentle spirit that they brought to our meetings and activities, those too, will never be forgotten. They were more than just missionaries to us all . . . they were and are . . . eternal friends. And that . . . makes me smile.

Erin and Patrick of Once Upon a Time make me smile. Erin is Lura's daughter, and Patrick is her lovely husband. They were so kind and generous to allow me to stay there the first couple of nights I was in Utah. They are such a cute couple and so very devoted to each other. It is clear to see they are very much in love with each other. Erin is a wonderful gal. Not only is she very smart and pretty, but she is very talented. Did you know she teaches sign language and that she went on a sign language mission? Not only that, but she went, all on her own, to Africa to teach sign language in Ghana? Not only that, but she founded a non profit organization that now sends 1o to 15 volunteers each summer to go to Ghana and teach at the deaf schools there. She does it out of genuine love and concern for her fellow beings. Patrick is no slouch either. Always with a wonderfully warm and genuine smile on his face it was very plain to see that his nephews and his niece clearly adore him in every way. I could tell he is their favourite Uncle. Erin and Patrick, together, they make me smile. (not only that but Erin makes a killer buttermilk pancake syrup to die for!)

The Jacobsons. They make me smile. Lynell is another one of Lura's daughters and she and her husband Dathan have the most wonderful family together. They were so much fun to be with and so inspiring to me. Those kids are all great kids. Lynell and Dathan love each other so much and love their family equally so. They are good people, kind people, thoughtful people. They are dedicated parents, and so good with their children. It was so wonderful to have been invited to be a part of them for the time I got to spend with them. Warm and welcoming I felt like I was just another one of the bunch. They inspired me to want to be a better me. I loved listening to Lynell read to her family and I loved being included in their family prayers. No, things are not always easy for them, but they pull together through the rough times and shoulder each other up when things get bad, and they laugh together and most important of all . . . they love together. The Jacobsons . . . they make me smile.

Eileen makes me smile. How could you look at that beaming face and not smile. Her strength and determination are inspiring. This is a girl that was often made fun of by her school mates when she was growing up, and sometimes even today is ridiculed by ignorant people just because she doesn't fit into their idea of what is "normal." She never lets them get her down. She knows her own worth. She is able to rise above their pettiness and to soar like an eagle, like the special spirit that she is. I am so proud of her and not just because she is a gold medal winning athlete, but because she is good people. Kind, generous, and loving to all. Honest and hard working, caring and full of integrity. She loves the Lord with all of her heart. She hasn't got a mean bone in her body. She'd do anything for anyone and do it with a smile on her face as well. She cares about others, genuinely. She's fun to be with. She's good people. I love her with all of my heart.

Todd and Jess make me smile. It is nice to know that no matter how far I may wander, or how near, I always have them to come home to. They love me, warts and all. They are here for me and always will be. Home is where you hang your heart and they are my home.

Okay, so this may not be very healthy and it's probably not something you should eat very often, but once in a while, this is good for the soul. (Not to mention cheap, easy, quick and delicious!)

*Taters and Dogs*
Serves 4

Your kids will love this, both big and small.

6 low fat hot dogs, sliced
4 TBS canola oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
garlic powder to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place the oil in a large skillet and heat it over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the hot dogs and cook, stirring until well browned. Stir in the onions and seasonings and cook for one minute, stirring. Add the potato and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender and nicely browned. Sprinkle with the cheese, allow to melt and then serve.


  1. Your face must almost ache from smiling so much. What fabulous friends you've made there. Something always strikes me about the Mormon Church and you said it, right there: "They care for everyone, members or not". I'm not a member, as you know, but I have known many who are and they are all like this. If they ask "How are you", they genuinely want to know.

    You're right about that recpe too - we didn't ought to eat it too often. Mind you, it DOES say 'low fat' franks so that's OK. Yup, that's ok, they can't make you fat.....can they?



  3. Thank you for sharing those lovely smiles today. I was smiling for sure when I read them. And the recipe is just the kind that I know my kids would have loved when they were growing up. I don't know why I never thought to do that. We had hot dogs in just about everyother form I could think of. Have a wonderful Sunday!
    'On Ya'-ma

  4. I always look foward to your Sunday posts!!!!!

  5. dear Friend,
    I don't know what to say. Thank you doesn't seem enough after all of the lovely things you have said about me and my girls and their families. We all love you and think that you are wonderful too.

    Lenis and Dick are pure gold. I feel like they are old friends even though I only was with them for a few days. What delightful, sweet, kind people they are. It was a joy to be with them.

    Eileen in a jewel. Her sweetness and goodness radiated....and you radiated when you were with her. I feel so blessed to have been a part of your reunion. I will treasure those memories together.

    I appreciate your Todd and Jess. I know that they both missed you while you were with us. I appreciate them supporting us in our adventure.

    Each of your Sunday six make me smile today and the memory of them will stay with me forever and bring smiles for days to come.

    Much love, Lura

  6. I meant to say "memories forever" instead of "memories together". I think I combined "memories of us together" and "memories forever" in my feeble little mind. I also meant to say "for years to come" not "for days to come." Can you tell that I just woke up???

    What am I like??? Luv ya lots, Lura

  7. Dear Marie. So happy to see the beautiful pictures of you. You look so sweet, and your inner beauty shines through. I have been following closely your trip to Idaho with Lura. What a fun time.

    I am so impressed with the pictures of your daughter also. She looks like she "has the world by the tail, with a downhill pull". Have you ever heard that expression !!! What it means is, she looks like she can conquer anything !!! What a tribute to you Marie.


  8. So much to smile about here...and so many smiles in these photos of everyone that smiling is infectious! Funny that photo of Lura with the earmuffs on her nose! That gives me an idea. Maybe I should learn how to knit a nose cozy...that might help me hear with all this snow...bbbrrr... I have been online hoping to see you on MSN Messenger but haven't yet...Hope to speak soon! Hope you and sweet Jess and dear Todd are having a happy day! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))

  9. i love how you say, "what am i like??" its so cute:) i actually had never heard that phrase before. now i'm going to start saying it!

    you definitely have a lot to smile about this week!!! yea!

  10. Loved all your smiles and so glad you got to meet such amazing people :)

    As for the Taters and Dogs...YUMMY, that is the kind of food I love.

  11. We sure love you!! I have said it before but we did not need to meet you to know how wonderful you were... we already knew! Getting to meet you was just icing on the cake!

    Thank you for all of your kind words. We are humbled.

    We can't wait to spend time with you again soon! :)


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